Section 5 – All I Wish to Own

The title Unspoiled is a line from Bob Dylan’s Boots of Spanish Leather:

No, there’s nothin’ you can send me, my own true love
There’s nothin’ I’m wishin’ to be ownin’
Just carry yourself back to me unspoiled
From across that lonesome ocean

The text on Unspoiled has two sources and intentionally conflates the colors of ocean waves with John Muir’s description of Sequoia trees.

The bark of full grown trees is from one to two feet thick, rich cinnamon brown, purplish on young trees and shady parts of the old, forming magnificent masses of color with the underbrush and beds of flowers. Toward the end of winter the trees themselves bloom while the snow is still eight or ten feet deep. The pistillate flowers are about three eighths of an inch long, pale green, and grow in countless thousands on the ends of the sprays. The staminate are still more abundant, pale yellow, a fourth of an inch long; and when the golden pollen is ripe they color the whole tree and dust the air and the ground far and near.

The cones are bright grass-green in color, about two and a half inches long, one and a half wide, and are made up of thirty or forty strong, closely packed, rhomboidal scales with four to eight seeds at the base of each. The seeds are extremely small and light, being only from an eighth to a fourth of an inch long and wide, including a filmy surrounding wing, which causes them to glint and waver in falling and enables the wind to carry them considerable distances from the tree.

Could one of these Sequoia Kings come to town in all its godlike majesty so as to be strikingly seen and allowed to plead its own cause, there would never again be any lack of defenders.

John Muir

There is also a reference to Yeats’ description of trees in Two Trees, which effectively does the same thing.

The Two Trees
The shaking of its leafy head
Has given the waves their melody
W.B. Yeats

This drawing reflects the colors of an ocean found in the work of Bato Dugarzhapov.


The Music Behind All I Wish to Own


Intermezzo in A Major played by Julius Katchen



Boots of Spanish Leather by Bob Dylan