Thursday, April 23, 2015

A Poem for a Snowy Day in Late April

April in Ohio

By Denise Levertov

Each day
the cardinals call and call in the rain,
each cadence scarlet
among leafless buckeye.
and passionately
the redbuds that can’t wait
like other blossoms, to flower
from fingertip twigs,
break forth.
as Eve from Adam’s
cage of ribs,
straight from amazed treetrunks.

Lumps of snow
are melting in tulip-cups. 

Denise Levertov wrote this in Cincinnati, around 1974. She had been a visiting prof at the University of Cincinnati. Unfortunately, I didn't see her or meet her at the time, even though I lived very close to campus in my $40/month apartment. Around 1975, Sarah Cotterill, a wonderful poet and friend, showed me this poem, and it has been important to me ever since.
So last evening as I drove through Chardon Township in a near blizzard, and this morning, as I awoke to a dusting of snow on my deck, I thought of this poem, of the great poet Denise Levertov, and of my old friend Sarah Cotterill.

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