Wednesday, May 03, 2017

"Jacaranda" -- a Favorite Word

"Jacaranda is a genus of 49 species of flowering plants in the family Bignoniaceae, native to tropical and subtropical regions of Mexico, Central America, South America, Cuba, Hispaniola, Jamaica and the Bahamas." -- Wikipedia

A jacaranda tree, Santa Barbara, May 3, 2014.
One of my favorite words is jacaranda. I've been in a few places where splendid jacaranda trees bloom in May, so I'm thinking about them now, as the month of May begins. This post is dedicated to just one word: jacaranda. A beautiful sound for a beautiful flower.

I've heard that the jacarandas are especially beautiful in Brazil, but I have never been there. I assume they bloom in October or November, in that hemisphere. Because their blossoming time is rather short, I've only seen them in a few places; I have not traveled much during the short blooming season of this beautiful tree. Here are a few more photos from those trips:

Santa Barbara, May, 2009
Rehovot, Israel, May, 2006.
Rehovot, Israel, May, 2006
Rehovot, Israel, May, 2006.
This might be Wordless Wednesday if I had posted photos without writing much. I guess it's Wordy Wednesday: depends on your point of view.

I thought poets might also like the word jacaranda so I searched for poetry that included the word. I found quite a few poems. Some only mentioned jacarandas, and some were quite detailed about the way they were characteristic of springtime in specific places -- Australia, South Africa, California, Mexico. I think most of the poets were more captivated by the beauty and color of the trees than by their name.

Here's my favorite poem, from the Poetry Foundation:

Learning to love America

Related Poem Content Details

because it has no pure products

because the Pacific Ocean sweeps along the coastline
because the water of the ocean is cold
and because land is better than ocean

because I say we rather than they

because I live in California
I have eaten fresh artichokes
and jacaranda bloom in April and May

because my senses have caught up with my body
my breath with the air it swallows
my hunger with my mouth

because I walk barefoot in my house

because I have nursed my son at my breast
because he is a strong American boy
because I have seen his eyes redden when he is asked who he is
because he answers I don’t know

because to have a son is to have a country
because my son will bury me here
because countries are in our blood and we bleed them

because it is late and too late to change my mind
because it is time.


Kitchen Riffs said...

Lovely post. And you're right -- jacaranda is a terrific word. Rolls off your tongue, doesn't it? Really fun read -- thanks.

Tina said...

Those are lovely blossoms, such a delicate coloring. I have never seen a tree like this.

Jeanie said...

I don't think I've ever seen these trees. It's gorgeous. Wonder if it is a "j" sound or the Spanish "h" sound for the j?