Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Day 1: Illusions of Spring


Illusions of Spring

I miss the you
you used to be:

whose random sunbursts
carved into February,

etched unreal promises
into skies’ grey tablets;

opened green-brown craters
in dingy snowscapes,

exposed earthen scars, patches
almost ready to grow again;

and even lured
one gullible robin

that hopped, chirped,
skipped back and forth,

till with a red-breasted shiver
it lifted off, due south.

I miss the you
I thought you used to be.


I will try to provide some commentary on my poems this month to keep up with the quasi-pedagogical bent of this blog.  Readers should keep in mind two caveats in reading the comments, though.  First, once presented, a poem does not belong to the poet.  Layers may reveal themselves, both intentional and not, and I have no desire to unravel everything in a poem to prevent any need to re-read.  Accordingly, anything I write about my poetry should not be taken as exhaustive.  Second, as my college creative writing professor beat into our heads, writers lie.  So while I will seek to be honest in what I present, don't assume you are out to lunch if your reading reflects something quite different from what I present.  To quote Whitman, "I am large; I contain multitudes."

Every year in Ohio (and in as much of the Midwest as I've experienced), February brings a few days that feel like spring has arrived.  When winter circles back and reminds us it hasn't yet left, moods plummet with the temperature--not because of the weather (we really should know better), but because we start to expect something more.

In the poem, I played with that idea, working to build a metaphor between these pre-spring moments and other expectations we allow ourselves to build despite where experience ought to lead.  The couplets are meant to reflect this expectation/reality duality, and the almost-mirrored first and last couplets emphasize the role of the narrator's thought processes.



  1. This is a beautiful poem.Thank you. I agree that a poem once presented does not belong to the poet.All of us bring a little bit of ourselves to the reading.

  2. I appreciate the comment - thank you! And yes, I think this is true of any writing, but perhaps more with poetry than any other genre.

  3. What I love about your writing is the precise word choice-carved, etched, dingy snowscapes, lured, gullible robin. Poetry should say much in few words, and this does.

  4. Hey, loved the simplicity of the work... Thanks for the opportunity to read aloud to moi...I love mastering a poem, making sure every phrase I emote to its fullest meaning.

    You get my vote for Poet Laureate.....[dream big, dude]

  5. Thank you both very much! I find trimming words out to be a constant challenge, so it's nice to see the results of the effort appreciated by people whose opinions I respect so much.

  6. lovely...the vivid verbs are a literary caress to me.
    unreal promises indeed!