Tuesday, February 15, 2011



That time of year thou mayst in me behold
when timid leaves, pale green or red, do sprout
from tree-tips stretching skyward as the cold
winter withdraws—Spare elegance, I leave thee.
Grace of branches bared to the blue sky,
I leave thee. Leaves shall clothe me:
chaos of foliage, riot of increase, of life
profuse, protruding—extending, exploding—
growing greener, greater, and singing in the wind
and sun, as spring comes, comes out shyly
from the tender tree-tips. Crisp blank snow,
silent still ice, I leave thee; creeping greening
bursting beginning rustling hustling
falling flying Spring, I greet thee.

I'm taking a poetry workshop, and for this week's assignment, I ended up writing three independent poems in the process of trying to express the idea I had landed on--singleness as "that which I must leave ere long." As given away by that quotation and by my poem's first line, Shakespeare's Sonnet 73 was echoing in my head as I wrote this. And then it worked out that it has the requisite 14 lines to be a sonnet.

I didn't bring this poem in to workshop (it was draft 2 of 3), but I showed it to my professor and he called it "good exercise," which (like his lavish compliments of draft 1, not posted here) was an unexpected reaction. He says writing to the seasons is something that one should do, especially if one is a Californian living temporarily in a place with real seasons; but he seems to think that seasonal poems are not poetic/personal/ownable or something in the same way that properly lyric poems are...

Anyway, there is my spring poem, rippling along the surface of my feelings about the major life changes that are coming, as surely as the seasons.

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