I am winter’s meadow

 

I am winter’s meadow
grasses gone to seed
wearing frayed regalia
drained of summer’s green.

I will stand here steadfast
in sun, sleet, snow
waiting for the someday
life rises from below.

 

Yesterday my youngest asked me to read what he was working on–a one paragraph discussion of a poem by Emily Dickinson. Back in my office I continued reading chapter 3 of Ted Kooser’s The Poetry Home Repair Manual (which I am enjoying very much!). Kooser describes a poem as a moment at the window in which one sees both a reflection of the writer and the view outside the window. Depending on the light, the reader will see more of the poet or more of the world. I turned the page and there again was Emily Dickinson, his example of a poet looking at her reflection:

 

It’s all I have to bring today–
This, and my heart beside–
This, and my heart, and all the fields–
And all the meadows wide–
Be sure you count–should I forget
Some one the sum could tell–
This, and my heart, and all the Bees
Which in the Clover dwell.

 

I jotted a note to myself to write a poem in which I express my feelings through the landscape. A few minutes later I closed the book and wrote the poem above. Only later did I discover that yesterday was Emily Dickinson’s birthday!

 

Happy Poetry Friday to you all. Buffy Silverman has the roundup.

 

Liz

 

 

19 replies
  1. Michelle Kogan
    Michelle Kogan says:

    I here your steadfast, determined voice coming through the “grasses gone to seed” and Emily’s voice in light rhyme and bee revery.
    I was up late last night reading her poems and Denise Levertov too.
    Lovely image, thanks for all!

    Reply
  2. Linda Baie
    Linda Baie says:

    It feels good to read your words, Liz, that “waiting for the someday/life rises from below.” & along with Emily’s advice to “be sure you count”. Being present outside has helped me these long months. Thanks for a beautiful poem today.

    Reply
  3. Kathryn Apel
    Kathryn Apel says:

    What a stunning photo to prompt your poem. A poem I know so well – you’ve written to my place, too. (Except we’d call it winter’s paddock. We don’t have meadows. Though they do have such a lovely ring to them.)

    Reply
  4. Carol Varsalona
    Carol Varsalona says:

    Both the photo and the poem are so inviting, Liz. The poem is introspective and the photo a dreamy-like one that lets me dig inside. Love the last lines:
    waiting for the someday
    life rises from below

    Reply
  5. Mary Lee
    Mary Lee says:

    Wow! I love all the cosmic connections!

    Your meadow poem perfectly captured the hunkering down and waiting that come with winter. And I love Kooser’s definition. Kind of like Rudine Sims Bishop’s “windows, mirrors, sliding glass doors” for books…but not quite.

    Reply
  6. Liz
    Liz says:

    Thanks to you all for stopping by and commenting. I appreciate your responses! I’m glad the last two lines resonated–that was exactly where I got stuck. I got unstuck by reminding myself I was looking at my reflection, not the meadow. : )

    Reply
  7. Ruth
    Ruth says:

    Thanks so much for that quote from Kooser, which I’d never heard before. I have often tried to take photos that include both the window and the view outside, and it is so hard to do. Andrew Wyeth’s painting “Wind from the Sea” does this, and it’s the main reason I love it so much.

    Reply
  8. JAN GODOWN ANNINO
    JAN GODOWN ANNINO says:

    Goosebumps about your serendipity with the E.D. birthday.

    I love your poem

    And that you son knows an expert editor.

    I am late to Mr. Ted Kooser & so recently his guidance is suggested in multiple settings. Appreciations for the nudge.

    Reply

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