This is the literary weblog of Jeffrey W. Hull, M.D., a pediatrician. It is intended mainly as a place to maintain a collection of poetry created for the enjoyment of a few friends and as an archive for my family. All material is protected by US copyright.

Jeffrey Hull

Friday, February 24, 2006

Spring


Geese flying north
© 2004 http://www.mikesjournal.com/ by permission



Long echelons of laughing wings
   Ride north on southern air;
The heralds of ten thousand springs,
   Gay bugles honk and blare.

From high above the morning frost
   Formations bank and wheel
To settle from the skies they've crossed
   And grab a traveler's meal;

Then fluffing up their feathered cloaks
   They once again set forth
In harness with their airy yokes
   To haul the springtime north.


© 2006 Jeffrey Hull

6 Comments:

Long echelons of laughing wings
Ride north on southern air;
The heralds of ten thousand springs,
Gay bugles honk and blare.

I say drop the opening "long". Readers will scant it just as well, even better, without the opening foot, and the word long trips over itself. "echelons of laughing wings" flies freer without it.

In fact, I think this wants to be a miniature:

Echelons of laughing wings
Once again set forth
In harness to the seasons' strings
To haul the springtime north.

Why do I recommend such condensation?

1) a look upward is all the poem, as written, is really about

2) the journey of the geese is not much served by descriptions of their marsh-time without your ruminations on how such travels relate to mortal sojourners like yourself.

In my opinion, you're singing this one with only half your voice.

All high falsetto and tenor; no baritone or bass.

Le'see:

Echelons of laughing wings
Once again set forth
In harness to the seasons' strings
To haul the springtime north.

Plowers of the sky's first till,
Their shadows, lightly drawn,
Drag twilight from its southern fill,
To light the polar dawn.

Not that I done any better, mind you, but it's always fun to enter a cutting contest based on another fellow's original tune ;)
Cutting contests.

Herschel Walker and Lester Young cutting their axes on opposite sides of the same grindstone.

It makes me happy.
A nice condensation, of course, and I understand your points. But then, the poem loses any sense of development, and becomes almost too short for the pleasures of reading and recitation. The "long" is a metrical requirement for the scansion of the line.

And then, it would be your poem, not mine.
I just love this poem! Thank you.
Thank you. It was inspired by events; several weeks ago the first formations of geese flew over the house in a low-level, noisy run northward. I reflected at the time that the animals know we have a mild winter and early spring - better than the weatherman, I say. I try to have a heightened awareness for what goes on in nature and the world around us in general to serve as the source for inspiration. Several of the metaphors were chosen specifically for their "Dickinsonian" flavor, most specifically "feathered cloaks." It is exactly what one would expect in a Dickinson poem. Emulation is, after all, the sincerest form of flattery.
It is clear to me that you are serious about your poerty. I have read five or six selections and they are very good. In fact, I can easily say, yours is the best poetry that I have yet clicked onto. I shall return!

Post a Comment

Newer Posts Older Posts