Thursday, November 15, 2012

"Splendid as a lioness"

I drove to San Francisco last week, met a friend, and drove down the coast to Half Moon Bay. The hills, still tawny-gold as the rain has not yet been enough to turn them green, rolled along on either side of me as I headed north. It reminded me of one of Ella's poems and I believe it was these same hills - the Gabilans, the Santa Lucias - that inspired her imagery. The Central Coast of California was home to Ella - and she knew it well. More than just what our eyes see - Ella recognized the spirit of this land and this is what she captures in her poem.

The Lioness

How could I know, America,
Hearing you praised for bigness,
For opulence alone,
As a calf is praised for the market,
How could I know you a land
Lean-ribbed and austere,
Splendid as a lioness
Golden-eyed and languorously alert?

Photograph © Denise Sallee 2010

No comments:

Post a Comment