Waiting to be painted

At the end of the first stanza of The Parakeets at Karekare, Allen Curnow refers to “a scene waiting to be painted.”

Apt, I’d say; apt in a way that I reckon all of us understand. But, in fact, it’s not true — not literally true.

Hopkins (GMH) touched on something similar in the final stanza of his Hurrahing in Harvest: “These things, these things were here and but the beholder | Wanting …”

There’s a clue here — in the word, ‘wanting’. Used in this way, the word indicates that the encounter between “the beholder” and “these things” is something absent but desired. Desired by whom?

Desired by Possibility itself!

One thought on “Waiting to be painted

  1. A belated postscript:

    And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair. (Kahlil Gibran, in The Prophet)

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