Christina Rossetti’s “Who Has Seen the Wind?”

Who has seen the wind?
Neither I nor you.
But when the leaves hang trembling,
The wind is passing through.

Who has seen the wind?
Neither you nor I.
But when the trees bow down their heads,
The wind is passing by.


Christina Rossetti’s “Who Has Seen the Wind?” is part of a project in which I’m posting poetry that’s in the public domain along with illustrations that are also sometimes from the public domain and other times from one of the new AI art generators. Essentially, I paste in the poem (or parts of the poem), see what the generator comes up with, and pick the images that seem best to me. These three particular images are from Bing and Stable Diffusion.

This seemingly simple poem is accessible to children as well as adults, but it uses the wind in a way that can be interpreted symbolicly as well as literally. On one hand, it speaks to a natural force that can be inhumanly powerful while always invisible. This seems profound and mysterious to adults as well as children. In a sense, it represents so many other phyical forces that we experience but can’t see, from gravity to most of the electromagnetic spectrum to the atomic forces that humanity has only recently discovered (and, of course, weaponized).

But the wind also represents other mysteries, from the divine to the ineffable. God is the most obvious and greatest of these symbolic forces, gentle and merciful at times, wrathful at others. The wind also serves as a symbol of other essences such as human love, so tender in serene days, so deeply passionate in more tempestuous weathers.

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Mark R. Vickers

I am a writer, analyst, futurist and researcher. I've spent most of my working life as an editor and manager for research organizations focusing on social, business, technology, HR and management trends. But, perhaps more to the point for this blog, I'm curious about the universe and the myriad, often mysterious relationships therein.

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