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Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
In this brilliant and intricate short poem, Frost considers the perennial theme of mutability. Nothing stays the same. The opening line informs us that nature's first growth is golden, or precious, because it lasts such a short time. The plainness of the theme, that of transitory happiness, is skillfully reinforced with the brevity of each line. Magically, the poem's couplet- rhyming form creates an upbeat feeling that counters the melancholy prompted by the theme of transformation. "Nothing Gold Can Stay" is a moving expression of the idea of change, the irrevocable effect of time on man and nature.
(The paragraph above is paraphrased from a poetic analysis written by Katherine Bailey in "Essays on Poetry")
Frost's poem expresses so eloquently my feelings as I wandered through the foggy mist in New Orleans' Audubon Park early one January morning. With the fog creating a mysterious atmosphere shrouding the massive live oaks, the familiar became unknown. The entire time, I felt the temporary nature of this magical world in which I found myself. This experience reinforced the wonder of the medium of photography itself - with its ability to stop time for a moment.
This image has been processed to bring out more of the earthy tones that I found present in the scene that morning.
February 6th, 2013
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