'Somewhere' by Emma Blas
in the grip of our youth,
we rush through seasons,
scrabbling down paths
on the side of a mountain,
slipping on scree and scuffing up knees,
in our impatience,
to get to the top, or the bottom,
as long as it is s o m e w h e r e;
we leap autumn to spring,
a harvest of experiences in between;
until our patience starts to lengthen,
and our biggest desires
are to pause time;
when we come to the realisation
that life will always run at a gallop,
and the greatest gift
we can ever receive,
is when another takes a moment
to walk beside us,
under the hurrying clouds,
honouring our human seasons,
we bend the arc of time.
Do we have human seasons? Do they run in order, along with the seasons of the earth or do they have their own syncopated rhythm? Does it change with the passage of time? Do the names Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter fit those human seasons?
Her Heart Poetry https://herheartpoetry.com is a community platform seeking to support and inspire new and existing poets; their poetry challenges go from educating on poetic forms, introducing the community to celebrated poets and poetry to inspiring with word, visual and conceptual prompts.
The prompt, 'The Human Seasons' by John Keats, a British Romantic poet born in 1795, is more poignantly read, when we consider that he died at the age of 25. He left behind just fifty-four, published poems, but is considered one of the world's greatest poets. He trained as a surgeon, to fulfil his ambition of "doing the world some good", yet it is his poetic legacy that has inspired the world, beyond measure (how do you measure more than two centuries of students, readers, artists and poets who have been inspired by his poems?).
'The Human Seasons' by John Keats
Four Seasons fill the measure of the year;
There are four seasons in the mind of man:
He has his lusty Spring, when fancy clear
Takes in all beauty with an easy span:
He has his Summer, when luxuriously
Spring's honied cud of youthful thought he loves
To ruminate, and by such dreaming high
Is nearest unto heaven: quiet coves
His soul has in its Autumn, when his wings
He furleth close; contented so to look
On mists in idleness—to let fair things
Pass by unheeded as a threshold brook.
He has his Winter too of pale misfeature,
Or else he would forego his mortal nature.
This poem is timeless in how it captures the human life, boiled down into four phases, to march with the four seasons of nature (that would be flipped for the southern hemisphere) and are echo'd in the four 'ashramas' of spiritual (yogic) life:
As these four ashramas are not linear (we can renunciate at any age, return to be a student), I feel in this age, neither are the 'human season's. We can have our 'lusty spring' later in life, or feel drawn into a winter of 'pale misfeature' at any time or age; yet what continues to evolve and match the seasons of the northern hemisphere (where winter is a time of sinking into our own introspection) is our perception of time and the patience to be within its boundaries.
The constant within those four 'human seasons' are the people that accompany us on the journey, their value growing in our perception, as it slows to really see and appreciate that kinship as a filter for viewing and experiencing life.
I'd love to hear your reflections on this interpretation and your own.