Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Sunflower Sutra

I took the title from an Allen Ginsberg poem. Ginsberg was a beat poet and didn't mention flowers too much as I recall. The sunflower in his poem was a dead one sitting atop a dump in the city. Our sunflower is very much alive and living happily in Piedmont. It's not so easy taking a sunflower photograph because they seem to turn away from the direction of the light. It leaves the photographer with a perfect sunflower and a featureless white sky. Finally I managed to find one that was correctly positioned for my shot. Here more than with any other flowering, the symbolism indicates a return to the centre since flower blooms are thought to represent the cycle of life and death. I always come back to the story of Persephone, carried away by Hades from the meadows of Sicily when gathering flowers. She would have plenty of work in this field where rows of sunflowers are planted between and around grape vines. She was to be become Queen of the Underworld and so the flowers are the souls of the dead. Lets end with a quote from Ginsberg's poem. "A perfect beauty of a sunflower! a perfect excellent lovely sunflower existence! a sweet natural eye, to the new hip moon, woke up alive and excited, grasping in the sunset shadow sunrise golden monthly breeze!"