anna netrebko

“But all my life–so far– I have loved best how the flowers rise …” WestWords Perfect Pair!


All the beauty of the world can be seen on the faces of flowers.   Today is the first reasonably sunny afternoon in Ireland and the flowers of the fields are craning their chilly stems for a glimpse of that under-provided, fair-weather friend of the Irish isles. Mary Oliver articulates their beauty much better than I can.  Described by the New York Times as ‘far and away, America’s best-selling poet’, Oliver won the Pulitzer Prize For Poetry in 1984 for her fifth collection of poetry American Primitive. In 1992 she won the National Book Award for her New And Selected Poems. Influenced by both Whitman and Thoreau, Mary Oliver’s creativity, is stirred by nature and her poetry is grounded in memories of Ohio and her adopted home of New England, where she still lives.   This is:

By Mary Oliver

All my life,
so far,
I have loved
more than one thing,

including the mossy hooves
of dreams, including’
the spongy litter
under the tall trees.
In spring
the moccasin flowers
reach for the crackling
lick of the sun

and burn down. Sometimes,
in the shadows,
I see the hazy eyes,
the lamb-lips

of oblivion,
its deep drowse,
and I can imagine a new nothing
in the universe,

the matted leaves splitting
open, revealing
the black planks
of the stairs.

But all my life–so far–
I have loved best
how the flowers rise
and open, how

the pink lungs of their bodies
enter the fore of the world
and stand there shining
and willing–the one

thing they can do before
they shuffle forward
into the floor of darkness, they
become the trees.

The Flower Duet (feat. Anna Netrebko & Elina Garanca) – Sous le dôme épais is the famous duet for sopranos, from Léo Delibes’ opera Lakmé, first performed in Paris in 1883. The duet takes place between the characters Lakmé, and her servant Mallika, as they go to gather flowers by a river.