Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Sad Cypress

In the Retiro 1

Come away, come away, Death,
And in sad cypress let me be laid;
Fly away, fly away, breath,
I am slain by a fair cruel maid.

My shroud of white stuck all with yew, O prepare it!
My part of death no one so true did sha
re it.

Not a flower, not a flower sweet,
On my black coffin let there be strewn:
Not a friend, not a friend greet
My poor corpse, where my bones shall be thrown.
A thousand thousand sighs to save, lay me O where
Sad true lover never find my grave, to weep there!

From "Twelfth Night"

The plain people of Ireland: Well, sure that's lovely and everything, and a few lines from the Bard always adds a touch of class. But, what in God's name are you on about? Is there a point here?
The management: If you'd just hold yer whisht and not interrupt, I'm just about to explain.

The plain people of Ireland: This should be good.
The management: As I was about to say, before I was so rudely interrupted, up until this past Friday, I always thought cypress trees looked like this:

So, you can only imagine my surprise when I found out the other evening that they can also look like this:

skinny trees of the Alhambra

That is to say, the tall skinny trees that I always thought were poplars are actually cypresses. Sure, they're dotted all over Spain. And in the South of France too, if this picture is anything to go by:

That's all I had to say, really. Oh, and that cypresses are an ancient symbol of death, which makes the Van Gogh painting all the more interesting.

The plain people of Ireland: But sure poplars and cypresses are easy to mix up. Are you sure that all the pictures on this page are cypresses?
The management: Now that you mention it, no. Perhaps some of my botanically inclined readers will help out with a comment.
The plain people of Ireland: So, to answer our original question, there really is no point to this vague rambling post.
The management: That's enough bloody cheek! Didn't ye get to read a fine bit of Shakespeare and look at a masterpiece by Van Gogh? What more could ye want, I ask you!

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