Poetry at the Post-Budapest: The Herend Royal Garden & Marianne Moore

“Nine Nectarines and Other Porcelain” by Marianne Moore

through slender crescent leaves
of green or blue—or both

Stopping for afternoon tea at The Four Seasons Hotel on a steamy Budapest afternoon, I found coolness and calm in the restored 1906 art nouveau Gresham Palace. I also found porcelain.

The Herend Porcelain Manufactory was founded in 1826 and has been producing hand painted pottery pieces ever since.

Tea was served on porcelain in “The Royal Garden Pattern. ” This is a modern age variation of the Victoria pattern with a focus on the Peony. Purple is the traditional color for royalty and the tea was a nod to the regal after an afternoon enmeshed in the terrors of the Nazi and Communist years.

Sadly, as presented in Marianne Mooore’s hauntingly lovely poem “Nine Nectarines and Other Porcelain,” the peony like the “red/cheeked peach cannot aid the dead.”

Poetry at the Post, Day 3: “Ode” by Arthur O’Shaughnessy

Kensai Greem Cemetery, December 2005 Photo courtesy of Justin Cormack Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.
Kensai Greem Cemetery, December 2005
Photo courtesy of Justin Cormack
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.
“Ode” by Arthur O’Shaughnessy (1844-81)

We are the music makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,

A British poet of Irish descent, O’Shaughnessy earned his living as an herpetologist at the British Museum. His real love, however, was not the frogs and snakes but literature, especially poetry.

For me, this poem is special because it reminds me of the importance of beginning new dreams. Instead of focusing on the past—its successes and failures– and the passage of time and generations, I like to think of the dream that is being conceived. (And, Yes! My dream is coming true! #lateantiquitystudiesBudapest2014)

For each age is a dream that is dying,
Or one that is coming to birth.

Sadly, O’Shaughnessy died of a “Chill” at the age of 36. He is buried at Kensai Green Cemetery in London. For the full poem and a bit of fairy dust, visit http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/242554

May 25, 2014
May 25, 2014