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Feb 272010
 

Painting of Fredrick Law Olmstedby Ron Yazinski


 

Olmsted was a man of the earth,

And what is more natural than design?

To create roads that twist and turn like a man’s argument with himself,

As if he were addicted to the love of a woman

Who, he knew, would destroy everything he ever built.

Every bend in the approach to the estate startles

With a new view of beech and bamboo.

It constantly surprises like the touch of the beloved, followed by the slap.

Love is always hoping for the French chateau in the hills of Carolina.


 

II.


 

Only the artificial truly comforts.

To be fully appreciated, beauty must be staged.

How would Olmstead have enhanced the Garden of Eden?

What plants would he have removed to improve the setting?

What approach would he have chosen to the Tree of Knowledge?

Where would be the best place to stand to witness Adam

Accept the fruit he knew would poison his soul?