Friday, October 3, 2008

Poetry Friday - Spring I Sing

Spring, I sing,
and robins bring branches for nests;
and the trees, which had undressed,
must have eaten the Fruit, I guess,
for they gather their leaves about them.

The warblers giggle their anthem,
the weather is getting better,
the breeze is cool like a feather,
I fling out my arms like a satyr,
and it's Spring.


One benefit of having written for a long time is that I can read what I wrote years ago with some detachment. With my old poems it goes beyond that -- I can't remember the person who wrote them, often can't imagine what I thought I was doing when I wrote them. This poem, which aside from Règne Animal is the only poem I kept from high school, seems to stand out in my older verse. Not very far, I admit. I knew almost as soon as I'd finished it that "Règne Animal" was a jump forward from what I'd written before, but didn't know what to write next. Up to that point I'd been writing mostly imitations of Bob Dylan, e. e. cummings, and Gerard Manley Hopkins (whose influence is noticeable in this one, I think), with some influence from other modernists I'd read (Eliot, Pound, Auden, etc.). For most of the next couple of years I went on playing around with forms (I wrote a lot of triolets especially) and formlessness, just seeing what came out of my head. And while it's not bad for student versifying, I think, it's nothing special either. That didn't bother me so much then, but later in the Seventies when I began writing poetry again after a long hiatus, it mattered more.