Since its unveiling in 1937 at the Paris World’s Fair, the Aalto vase has been an international sensation. Its mysterious shape has been the subject of much speculation; some say it is based on Aalto’s sketches entitled, “The Eskimo Woman’s Leather Breeches.” Others speculate that the fluid shape might be inspired by the lines of the Finnish landscape. Regardless of its questionable origins, one thing remains indisputable: its serene beauty.
But I also can´t help remembering Rubén Darío´s famous Sonatina, verse six, everytime I see a lonely forgotten flower fainting in a vase. So this scene provokes a complex of emotions. And as Ezra Pound asserts referring to the image in poetry, it is “that which presents an intellectual and emotional complex in an instant of time”.
Here you have the first stanza in Spanish, I haven´t included a translation since the English ones so far do not do it justice.
Rubén Darío (1867-1916)
La princesa está triste… ¿Qué tendrá la princesa?
Los suspiros se escapan de su boca de fresa,
que ha perdido la risa, que ha perdido el color.
La princesa está pálida en su silla de oro,
está mudo el teclado de su clave sonoro,
y en un vaso, olvidada, se desmaya una flor.