Marja-Leena Rathje
Home ::: after the rains (2)

after the rains (2)



Ever since I remember, I've been captivated by little burbly creeks, especially when they seem to appear where none were before, by the water dancing over rocks and soil, urgently, ever forward, downwards, forming little waterfalls, emerging out of hidden banks or boulders, then creating rivulets in the sand as it hurries down to the sea.

As I thought of this today, I kept trying to recall a poem I'd known ages ago, perhaps by Tennyson whom I loved in those long ago high school poetry classes. It kept niggling at me all afternoon so when my husband came home from work, I asked if he remembered something like that. Immediately he started to recite the first two lines:

Why hurry, little river,

  Why hurry to the sea?

A little research rewarded us with a poem called The River but surprised us that it's not by Tennyson, but by a Canadian poet Frederick George Scott (1861-1944). Here is the first stanza:

Why hurry, little river,
Why hurry to the sea?

There is nothing there to do

But to sink into the blue
And all forgotten be.

There is nothing on that shore

But the tides for evermore,

And the faint and far-off line

Where the winds across the brine

For ever, ever roam

And never find a home.

Marja-Leena | 04/01/2010 | 17 comments
themes: Being an Artist, Nature, Photoworks


Remarkable photos, and I love that poem, which I had never heard before.

How nice that your husband remembered the first two lines and that you were able to find the poem. I like it very much!

Hattie, thanks, glad you like!

R, isn't it amazing that he remembered it?

Great pictures and great find on the poems, No burbly creeks here. Just old snow and freezing cold temps.

Cathy, thanks! I'm missing snow just a bit but not the cold. Keep warm!

Hi Marja-Leena!
Thank you for your lovely water photos! Here in Finland we now lots of snow

Hi Leena! Thanks and a big welcome always to Finnish readers. What a pleasant surprise to have you visit for I was looking at your blog yesterday - you have lovely photos too! I love the snow and have missed not having it here this winter... yet.

I remember coming home to the monastery after a trip during which I'd discovered Rumi. I was floating with happiness from the reading and said to my main monk, "There was one quatrain that I just can't get out of my head it was so perfect."

He smiled wryly and said, I would love to kiss you.

My heart leapt. I said, The price of kissing is your life. And then I floated off to the Zendo.

He, of course, was only my dream man so long as we lived at a monastery....


happy new year!

lovely photos...nice to see water that can move instead of the solid stuff we have here at the moment

Happy New Year, Marja-Leena. Lovely pictures that sing of spring.

I am almost a free woman again. The last granddaughter is leaving tomorrow, the last daughter is leaving next week. I hope to get back to Vancouver this month.

99, did this poem trigger that memory or dream? Very odd but sexy...

Rosie, thanks! So different from a year ago when we were so snowed in.

Anne, you've certainly been busy with your family. Our middle daughter and granddaughters are still here until about the end of January, but I managed to get back to the studio to print today. Let me know when you are coming and I'll give you a tour!

lovely photos, and I liked your story of the poem.

Taina, thanks, glad you liked it! It's interesting how memory plays on one.

You've reminded me of a favorite poem by Rilke:

The Water Lily

My whole life is mine, but whoever says so
will deprive me, for it is infinite.
The ripple of water, the shade
of the sky
are mine; it is still the same, my life.

No desire opens me: I am full,
I never close myself with refusal-
in the rhythm of my daily soul
I do not desire - I am moved;

by being moved I exert my empire,
making the dreams of night real:
into my body at the bottom of the water
I attract the beyonds of mirrors...

Susan, this is very lovely, thank you for sharing it here! Can you read German? Apparently Rilke's work is best in its native language, losing a lot in translations. I suppose that's true also of translations of Goethe, Shakespeare and many other great writers. Sorry, off topic...!

Lovely photos, and I like the poem - great match! I love burbly creeks, too. Not too many burbling this time of year here in New England as they're mostly frozen. So burbly means Spring, which may be why I like them so much. :-)

Leslee, thanks. Well, I hope Spring and burbly creeks are not too far off in your area!