The world has different owners at sunrise . . . Even your own garden does not belong to you. Rabbits and blackbirds have the lawns; a tortoise-shell cat who never appears in daytime patrols the brick walls, and a golden-tailed pheasant glints his way through the iris spears.
Meanwhile the mind, from pleasure less, Withdraws into its happiness; The mind, that ocean where each kind Does straight its own resemblance find; Yet it creates, transcending these, Far other worlds, and other seas; Annihilating all that's made To a green thought in a green glade . . . Such was that happy garden-state, . . .
We found Matisse living in a small house, with a magnificent, sweeping view beyond his vegetable garden. In one room there was a cage with a lot of fluttering birds. The place was covered with paintings, most of them obviously new ones. I marveled at his production and I asked him, "What is your inspiration? "I grow artichokes, he said. His eyes smiled at my surprise and he went on to explain: "Every morning I go into the garden and watch these plants. I see the play of light and shade on the leaves and I discover new combinations of colors and fantastic patterns. I study them. They inspire me. Then I go back to the studio and paint.