On the south side of Robots Library, aka Fort Book, where once there was a row of unpretentious Edwardian houses and the odd grocery store, there is now nothing but an undistinguished stretch of lawn criss-crossed by diagonal concrete paths going from nowhere to nowhere. Really, they could have kept the houses if they weren't going to use the space for, yanno, the library. Which ran out of shelf space within ten years of being built anyway. Yes, well, architects, and who cares about the bad feelings of forty years back?
Anyway. Some genius had the notion of planting cherry trees on either side of the paths. I wandered down there yesterday afternoon. They aren't the same genus as the Japanese sakura with their creamy pinkish blossoms. These are quite white and a bit stark. But still, but still. The ghostly petal light between the walls of the trees, and the pale cherry blossom smell, and the view to the still bare and wintry deciduous elms or whatever standing here and there about the lawn, was quite of-another-world. (The occasional natsukashii Japanese couple taking pictures, and the quite un-natsukashii white couples also taking pictures, were very much of this world.)
Anent the subject line-- for once, words fail Housman. Always thought that one a bit twee. Much better is that Negawakuba hana no shita nite haru shinan from Monk Saigyou by way of the Gaiden.
Also occurred to me-- that famous term hanafubuki, a snow storm of cherry blossoms, was translated somewhere as 'cherry blossom blizzard.' I wondered why I'd never thought to translate it that way myself, and realized it's my Canuck instincts. The falling cherries may *sometimes* look like snow falling. They may even, with the right kind of wind, look like a mild squall in the middle of a snow storm. Fallen, they often look like drifts. But they never, ever, attain the thickness and force of a blizzard. TBH, to my eye they mostly look like cherry blossoms flurries. (End 'The Canadians have five words for snow.')