Sunday, July 8, 2007

Fleeting Beauty

"The Greek had no need to journey into far countries to learn the vicissitudes of the seasons, to mark the fleeting beauty of the damask rose, the transient glory of the golden corn, the passing splendour of the purple grapes."
-Sir James George Frazer
(1854–1941). "The Golden Bough"

My daughter took this striking photo of a Luna Moth on a recent hike in Lake George, NY. Intrigued, I turned to the internet to discover more about the pale and lovely insect.

Named after Luna, the Roman goddess of the moon, the mature Luna moth has a lifespan of about one week and does not feed as an adult; it has no mouth.
Dried adults, live eggs, larvae, and pupae are highly prized but “unfortunately for collectors... this species is not as vibrant in death as it is in life. Dried specimens fade to a pale yellow, leaving only a faint shadow of what was once a dazzling, luminous green.”

In "Luna Moth", Cecily Parks muses
If only you could teach me
survival without sustenance, unworried
love, how to find oneself at a window
one morning and think nothing of what happens next.

Pulitzer prize-winner Mary Oliver observes in "Luna":
It was beautiful.
It was silent.
It didn’t even have a mouth.

But it wanted something,
it had a purpose
and a few precious hours
to find it,
and I suppose it did.

1 comment:

Christian Long said...

Oliver's description of the moth offers interesting food for thought re: blogging, it strikes me.

As a soon-to-be-again English teacher, I appreciate the way your moth journey invited poetry back into my day.

Thanks, BTW, for the kind email you sent, Diane. Truly appreciated!

Cheers...and keep up the great blog!