Better than Gold

Every time I walk through a deep forest in the spring and see sunlight reflected off newly formed leaves

Spring Leaves In Sunshine

I’m reminded of Frost’s

NOTHING GOLD CAN STAY

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.

even though I realize that the poem refers to the golden buds that emerge just before they turn to leaves, not to newly-formed leaves like these.

Still, the poem captures the Japanese idea of mono no aware as well as any American poem I’m aware of.

2 thoughts on “Better than Gold

  1. I heard a recording of Frost reading that poem. After he read it, he said that he remembered when that first occurred to him, and that he’d look every spring to see if it was true.

What do you think?