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!
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
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.