LETTER: The life in a cherry tree

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The Independent Online
From Mr Donald Newton

Sir: Implicit in the bald translation of the wondrous calligraphy on the cover of the Independent Magazine (5 August) is an exegesis worth reading.

For centuries, the cherry blossom has been a metaphor for the human condition; the flower's five petals standing for our senses. Unlike that of other trees, the cherry's entire blossom can be there one day, one hour, one moment, and be gone the next, like a life. As Japanese cherry trees usually flourish beside pools and streams, a wind or a compliant current can sometimes enhance the metaphor.

Thank you for Peter Popham's account of a metaphor reversed apocalyptically.

Yours faithfully,

Donald Newton

Birmingham

8 August

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