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1. 2 Non-rational, because the sunflower does not–as far as we know, in the rational/sentient way–feel anything emotionally; the jury may be out on whether.

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Presentation on theme: "1. 2 Non-rational, because the sunflower does not–as far as we know, in the rational/sentient way–feel anything emotionally; the jury may be out on whether."— Presentation transcript:

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3 Non-rational, because the sunflower does not–as far as we know, in the rational/sentient way–feel anything emotionally; the jury may be out on whether there are tactile receptors in a sunflower that can feel anything physically. To answer the nonsensical question in this case requires a kind of metaphor or animation of the inanimate. (We could also argue the inanimate status of a sunflower seed-head.)Further nonsensical inquiry could lead us to What does the goldfinch say to the sunflower? or, more nonsensical still, What would a sunflower say to an electric guitar? Non-rational prompts can provoke interesting results in the process of creative thinking. 3

4 Believe me, if all those endearing young charms Which I gaze on so fondly today, Were to change by tomorrow, and fleet in my arms Like fairy-gifts fading away, thou would still be adored, as this moment thou art, Let thy loveliness fade as it will, And around the dear ruin each wish of my heart Would entwine itself verdantly still. It is not while beauty and youth are thine own, And thy cheeks unprofaned by a tear That the fervor and faith of a soul can be known To which time will but make thee more dear No, the heart that has truly loved, never forgets But as truly loves on to the close, As the sunflower turns on her god when he sets, The same look which she turned when he rose. 4

5 Come with me into the field of sunflowers. Their faces are burnished disks, their dry spines creak like ship masts, their green leaves, so heavy and many, fill all day with the sticky sugars of the sun. Come with me to visit the sunflowers, they are shy but want to be friends; they have wonderful stories of when they were young - the important weather, the wandering crows. Don't be afraid to ask them questions! Their bright faces, which follow the sun, will listen, and all those rows of seeds - each one a new life! hope for a deeper acquaintance; each of them, though it stands in a crowd of many, like a separate universe, is lonely, the long work of turning their lives into a celebration is not easy. Come and let us talk with those modest faces, the simple garments of leaves, the coarse roots in the earth so uprightly burning. 5

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7 You can say anything, but there are things that can't be told. They've worked out a method of breathing to help you through, to ease the pain, but the pain is deeper than breath goes. I'll never know. Here, for me, things are as simplified as a traffic light, the quickly passing yellow of choice between two commands. Here's my hand. Nothing can drive me away. I am like a stud in the wall that makes this room possible. You are like a sunflower facing the sun. For better or worse, here for the duration. Let the knees buckle, the hernia bulge, the sweat swim along the lines of the skin. Let the discs of the spine fuse with cold fire, let the feet flatten, and the small vessels in the eyes burst and redden. Listen to the voice of the will, egged on by the heart, setting out on this journey through the mountains, deserts, and swamps of the body. I'll hold your hand, and fan and fan for as many hours as it takes. This is December tenth and January twenty-eighth. This is the day within the days we've been moving toward. Nurse says don't push, resist the urge to push. Doctor says push. I say breathe. breathe. You open your mouth, release another mottled sparrow of pain. You can say anything 7

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9 Ah Sunflower, weary of time, Who countest the steps of the sun; Seeking after that sweet golden clime Where the traveller's journey is done; Where the Youth pined away with desire, And the pale virgin shrouded in snow, Arise from their graves, and aspire Where my Sunflower wishes to go! 9

10 --all these entangled in your mummied roots--and you standing before me in the sunset, all your glory in your form! 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! How many flies buzzed round you innocent of your grime, while you cursed the heavens of your railroad and your flower soul? Poor dead flower? when did you forget you were a flower? when did you look at your skin and decide you were an impotent dirty old locomotive? the ghost of a locomotive? the specter and shade of a once powerful mad American locomotive? You were never no locomotive, Sunflower, you were a sunflower! And you Locomotive, you are a locomotive, forget me not! So I grabbed up the skeleton thick sunflower and stuck it at my side like a scepter,and deliver my sermon to my soul, and Jack's soul too, and anyone who'll listen, --We're not our skin of grime, we're not our dread bleak dusty imageless locomotive, we're all golden sunflowers inside, blessed by our own seed & hairy naked accomplishment-bodies growing into mad black formal sunflowers in the sunset, spied on by our eyes under the shadow of the mad locomotive riverbank sunset Frisco hilly tincan evening sitdown vision. 10

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12 12 Late one evening as a thunderstorm came sweeping through the leaves and the house swayed a little God spoke. Lightning flashed like remote enormous, amber caution lights; I stirred and tracked the overhead intensity -Sunflower within the sun's arc- And The Omnipotent, In His quiet, regal -familiar voice spoke, Samekh, and Now, read 2 Daniel; I howled at my incompetence and Happy, flustered thinking Daniel, lentils, visions furnace, lions den, Old Testament, 13 th chapter, Susanna… (Apocryphal?) At the page top of 2 Samuel it appeared ink jet fresh I just could have asked Lord, where?.

13 Be indomitable, Oh my heart! Love only the sunflower; It is the flower of the Giver-of-Life! What can my heart do? Have we come, have we sojourned here on earth in vain? As the flowers wither, I shall go. Will there be nothing of my glory ever? Will there be nothing of my fame on earth? At most songs, at most flowers, What can my heart do? Have we come, have we sojourned on earth in vain? 13

14 It all suddenly is realised as never before, it must be stated immediately, you are impatient, vast swift movements of the hands, sweeps of colour, blur, the aching speed of necessity, start with just one image then expand into a whole view. It is so simple at first, the exuberance of expression. You can speak with your hands you do not need to open your mouth. but in a month or a season you are burning towards fragmentation everything repeats itself everything explodes into these incredible colours and finally you cannot even utter one thought or describe in your way a scent of fields. The tints and textures remain it is just your sudden inability to communicate. So you attack yourself with bright weapons...theories, histories of golden hours...insane kings that was the time of such transition. And you, you, Vincent van Gogh, what have you to say that can outcry the great blaze of the sun or procreate another sunflower? But it is all dead now You are in the museums now, we learn of your lost ear, the yellow you painted...it is all ghosts. 14

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16 Baby sunflowers will pop up about weeks after planting. Keep the seedling area weed free and keep watering but other than that, they should not need much maintenance and should grow quickly, taking about 90 days to reach maturity. Weeds are not really a problem once the sunflower reaches 3 feet in height. Taller plants are also more drought resistant and watering can be reduced. 16

17 A goldsmith hammered a sunflower out of recycled trinkets. It howled because it was tasteless, because it was brassy. It could not turn to the sun like other heliotropes. So the sun had pity on the yard ornament & melted it down with ardor. And the goldsmith soaked his hands in the liquefaction, & they hardened. In this condition, he discovered a finch laying an egg in a trash can. He could handle neither the bird nor the egg with his welded fingers. But the yolk beneath the blue enamel of the sky made him happy. It cast his silhouette on the sidewalk while bees trampled it with mellifluous feet. 17

18 18 Rights Reserved, J H James, Houston, Texas 2012


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