Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), March, 1923-1928; watercolor on paper; Image from the Burchfield Penney Archives
Charles Burchfield, A Happy Child 1904
Friday, June 14, 2013
He walks along through the woods and meadows, past hepaticas and spring-beauties; past blue-gray beeches, rough-barked maples and under the soft dark gloom of pine-trees, God leading him by the hand.
He listens to the songs of spring birds, the soft roar of wind in the tree-tops; the faint rustle of a tiny whirlwind scattering spiraling leaves down some dark hollow. Warm sunlight reflects upward from last autumn’s bleached out leaves into his rapt eager face.
He is a happy child, an innocent child of God.
Warm sunlight reflected up from the earth on a day in March when maple-sap is running freely – the smell of hepaticas; their soft downy birds pushing up through the leaf-mold.
Decayed hemlock needles, little hemlock cones – the smell of the earth – the soft sigh of a wood through hemlock branches, the glint of sunlight on hemlock needles.
The child rejoices in the little hemlock world.
Charles Burchfield, c. 1950s
We believe that this poem was actually written in the 1950s of a childhood memory of Burchfield's from 1904. – Nancy Weekly, head of collections/the Charles Cary Rumsey curator at the Burchfield Penney.