“Only prepare the soil and bury seed
in patterns you desire to see again
enrobed in color's riot. Only then
look up and hope the sky will meet their need,
your need, for what your plan was all about.
For if you say its name, there may be drought.”
Tuesday marked the twenty-third anniversary of my only meeting with Davenport – not counting letters, telephone conversations and books -- at his home in Lexington, Ky. His house on Sayre Avenue and its contents embodied beauty in the home-grown American sense of a clean, orderly, well-lit space. Davenport found beauty in Melville’s description of the mating and birthing of whales, in thistle, in the prose of Ruskin, Doughty and Beckett, in Arthur Golding’s translations of Ovid, in Shaker furniture. He deemed Love’s Labours Lost the most beautiful of Shakespeare’s plays. He would, I think, have agreed with Aquinas who defined beauty as id quod visum placet – “that which being seen pleases.”