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Spring weather-inspired poems

I went for a walk with Rebecca on Sunday to a young women meeting. The weather was so joyful that I had to share a poem that I love with her, an excerpt, actually, from a longer poem:

And what is so rare as a day in June?
     Then, if ever, come perfect days;
Then Heaven tries the earth if it be in tune,
     And over it softly her warm ear lays:
Whether we look, or whether we listen,
We hear life murmur, or see it glisten;
Every clod feels a stir of might,
     An instinct within it that reaches and towers,
And, grasping blindly above it for light,
     Climbs to a soul in grass and flowers;
The flush of life may well be seen
     Thrilling back over hills and valleys;
The cowslip startles in meadows green,
     The buttercup catches the sun in its chalice,
And there ‘s never a leaf or a blade too mean
     To be some happy creature’s palace;
The little bird sits at his door in the sun,
     Atilt like a blossom among the leaves,
And lets his illumined being o’errun
     With the deluge of summer it receives;
His mate feels the eggs beneath her wings,
And the heart in her dumb breast flutters and sings;
He sings to the wide world, and she to her nest, –
In the nice ear of Nature which song is the best?

Now is the high-tide of the year,
     And whatever of life hath ebbed away
Comes flooding back, with a ripply cheer,
     Into every bare inlet and creek and bay;
Now the heart is so full that a drop overfills it,
We are happy now because God so wills it;
No matter how barren the past may have been,
‘T is enough for us now that the leaves are green;
We sit in the warm shade and feel right well
How the sap creeps up and the blossoms swell;
We may shut our eyes, but we cannot help knowing
That skies are clear and grass is growing;
The breeze comes whispering in our ear,
That dandelions are blossoming near,
     That maize has sprouted, that streams are flowing,
That the river is bluer than the sky,
That the robin is plastering his house hard by;
And if the breeze kept the good news back,
For other couriers we should not lack;
     We could guess it all by yon heifer’s lowing, –
And hark! how clear bold chanticleer,
Warmed with the new wine of the year,
     Tells all in his lusty crowing!

(from “The Vision of Sir Launful” by James Russell Lowell)

Talking like the rain

And when the raindrops were pittering on top of the picnic table outside earlier in the week, it just felt like a poetry moment as well. I pulled a few books (okay, 5) off the shelf to open up and see what I might find. I thought of “Daffodills” by William Wordsworth, and I wanted to see what Emily Dickinson had to say to me. I also plied a favorite children’s poetry book, Talking like the Rain, to glean some poetic inspiration.

Daffodills

“Daffodills” carried me back to the Lake District, just as the image in Wordworth’s mind of a field, gloriously laden with daffodills, transported him back to the place.

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
But today, in the warm drive home from poetry group, I wished so much for time to sit and think, write, read, and write some more. So I decided to write a poem as a drove. And I had to write it down as soon as I got home–even though I was very hungry for something to eat–because although the poem isn’t very good, it’s how I felt, and I may be the only one who ever wants to recall it!
For more posts about poetry, go here.
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