Poetry Hop: “Green”

Welcome to the first Sunday Poetry hop!. The poem I’ve featured is one that I read in April in a poem-a-day email, and it was one of the finalists for my poetry month reading challenge. I’ll be posting this week about which poets I’ll be delving into for that challenge, but am also happy to get a chance to introduce this poem to some new readers. The last two stanzas are just beautiful and really knocked me out: enjoy!


Amy Clampitt

These coastal bogs, before they settle
down to the annual
business of being green, show an
ambivalence, an overtone

halfway autumnal, half membranous
sheen of birth: what is
that cresset shivering all by itself
above the moss, the fallen duff—

a rowan? What is that gathering blush
of russet the underbrush
admits to—shadblow, its foliage
come of ungreen age?

The woods are full of this, the red
of an anticipated
afterglow that’s (as it were) begun
in gore, green that no more than

briefly intervenes. More brief
still is the whiff,
the rime, the dulcet powdering, just now,
of bloom that for a week or two

will turn the sullen boglands airy—
a look illusory
of orchards, but a reminder also
and no less of falling snow.

Petals fall, leaves hang on all
summer; chlorophyll,
growth, industry, are what they hang
on for. The relinquishing

of doing things, of being occupied
at all, comes hard:
the drifting, then the lying still.



Filed under Poetry

4 responses to “Poetry Hop: “Green”

  1. This is from the Knopf emails, no? I recall it: gorgeous and oblique and evocative. Her moves, line to line, are so unexpected…
    I’m intrigued to hear more about your poetry challenge…
    Thanks for this lovely contribution, and see you next week, and over at ActionReaders.com too, Jackie.

    • Yes, it’s from the Knopf emails, which were just so great–I think I have the poetry challenge entry scheduled for tomorrow–I’m very excited about it!

  2. Oh, this is such a beautiful poem. I’ve never come across it before. Thank you for introducing me to it. My fave bit:
    halfway autumnal, half membranous
    sheen of birth:
    This reminds me of the always-poignant moment when one cycle closes and another begins. There’s always a bit of mourning for the old, even if the new is manifestly better.

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