These leaves are like the last green
in the paint pots—dried up, dull, and rough,
behind the flowered umbels whose blue
is not their own, only mirrored from far away.
In their mirror it is vague and tear-stained,
as if deep down they wished to lose it;
and as with blue writing paper
there is yellow in them, violet and gray;
washed out as on a child’s pinafore,
no longer worn things, which nothing can befall:
how one feels a small life’s shortness.
But suddenly the blue seems to revive
in one of the umbels, and one sees
a touching blue’s rejoicing in green.
Poem: “Blue Hydrangea” by Ranier Maria Rilke from New Poems: A Revised Bilingual Edition by Ranier Maria Rilke
Photograph: The Art of Im(perfection) XL – Oakleaf Hydrangea by Saeah Lee
Photograph and Words is a series of favorite poems paired with one of my photographs. I took some photos with the poem in mind. Other times, as I’m reading the poem, I start to visualize one of my images. It’s my humble attempt at distilling the meaning of the poem into one image. Sometimes, it’ll be literal and obvious, and other times, not so.