Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Dogwood in autumn           [neo-symbolist lyric?]

No lavish fluff of dream is seen
this tree is but a scrawl of wood
spare leafage yet in gold or green
some folk profess to hold this good

but I recall more vernal days
how twig on twig were flush with light
however much I pine and gaze
save yonder cloud no sign of white

if still I stand when spring returns
no leaf this branch will obfuscate
while in array again will burn
pellucid lamps of limpid white

I now the wintry dream await
when boughs all naked   shorn and stark
in mocking play anticipate
the bright array on branches dark


Initially conceived (for an exercise) as a poem "in the style of Robert Frost" (on the premise: what if another lost poem were found?), I think this specimen lands wide of that mark. But I've grown happy with the poem in its own right and terms (and, here, have, among other revisions, dropped Frost-style punctuation & capitalization & indentations -- poetry-typography of a bygone era).

There's also this accoutrement:
publisher's note: typical of some Dogwoods is a phenomenon where the blossoms (in some varieties, a striking white) are seen in full vernal bloom, while the leaves have yet to appear. Later, the leaves grow, and the blossoms disappear. Evidently this is the characteristic Mr. Frost had in mind.


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