Poetry

On Real and Artificial Flowers

by Chengde Chen

If an artificial flower is made
more beautiful than a real one,
more fresh and bright,
more lively and touching,
with more charm of spring,
and dignity of autumn,
more tenderness of love,
and fragrance of imagination,
– it is more real than the real one,
so that in comparison
the real one looks artificial,

then,
why is the real one still preferred?
The only reason is that
it will wither and die.
So,
the possibility of death
is its ultimate value,
although no one realises this.

Man appreciates living things,
because he himself dies.
The sense of life, like that of sex,
is something within the perceiver,
through which that of the object
can be felt.
Those that have it respond to it.
Those that don’t won’t.
The charm of real flowers
is in living men.

© CHENGDE CHEN 2004

Chengde Chen is author of Five Themes of Today: philosophical poems, published by Open Gate Press.

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