Monday, August 15, 2011


A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
John Keats
John Keats
To possess a thing of beauty.
To have it before your eyes,
Or singing in your ear;
To touch it,
Run your finger tips
Over its fine surface,
To remember yet again,
That you earned it,
Or a loved one presented it
To you, in loving regard.
To know that this gorgeous thing
Is yours to keep and cherish,
A work of art, a thrill of music,
Fine porcelain, incandescent gems,
A thing of beauty that belongs to you
Permeates your soul.
My father taught me how to wrap
A fine china cup and saucer,
So they might be carried from my hands
Safely to a far away land,
And not suffer a chip or a crack.
All these decades later,
I can see and feel the delicate china
That I wrapped in white tissue,
Carefully encompassing -
First, the saucer, and then the cup -
Caressing each piece tenderly,
Shaping a soft pad of tissue
Around the ear - as my father taught me -
Laying the floral pieces gently
Onto a bed of tissue,
Inside the blue box.
The secret is in the air -
Not in the paper,
My father told me;
It is the air trapped
In the pockets of the tissue
That protects the delicate china.
This gift, one of hundreds,
Is lifted gingerly from my hands,
And carried by the buyer
To a beloved person somewhere.
But the memories of the china gifts 
I wrapped when I was just a girl,
Linger brightly in my mind.
I know not where they are,
Or who delighted when they
Opened the blue box,
And found the china,
Perfect and gorgeous,
But the gifts I sent into the world
With loving care,
Remain here, vividly, in my memory.
Every lovely china cup
Reminds me of my father,
And all he taught me.
A thing of beauty is a joy -
When you have earned it,
Or it has been given to you in love.
There is no beauty
In the finest art,
When you have stolen it.
Phyllis Carter
August 14, 2011
AYNSLEY Tea Cup & Saucer ORCHARD  Bone China

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