Sunday, 29 September 2013

Sunflowers on Sussex Street

I was walking along Sussex Street yesterday, behind the University of Toronto. I came across this front yard full of gorgeous sunflowers, straining toward the sunshine in the last few hours of a September afternoon.
I thought of William Blake's poem, Ah! Sunflower, which was the subject of the first university English essay I ever wrote. My lovely daughter Kay is studying Blake this year at university. So, here is his poem, for September and English students everywhere:

Ah! Sunflower
Ah! sunflower, weary of time,
Who countest the steps of the sun,
Seeking after that sweet golden clime
Where the traveller’s journey is done;

Where the youth pined away with desire,
And the pale virgin shrouded in snow,
Arise from their graves and aspire;
Where my sunflower wishes to go. 

William Blake (1757-1827) P. 1793

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