Posted by: John Looker | 12 March, 2017

Herald of Spring

(to a small granddaughter)

 

No, not the cuckoo although, yes,
we fancied we heard one just now, over the field.
Snowdrops maybe? Plucky little plants, they unfold
their immaculate gowns with a ‘hey look at us!’

Everywhere we see the colours of winter:
flint church, moss on the gravestones, the yews,
and the drift of spent leaves – all so subdued
until these starbursts make us stop in wonder.

And look at you, little lass,
as you go skipping among the white petals
in your blue coat with the pink buttons,

now turning to beam at us
with your big dazzling smile – you, at the portals
of Spring, all birdsong and blossom.

 

© John Looker 2017

 

 

 

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Responses

  1. This is a beautiful poem, John. I’ve shared it on the BB FB page 🙂

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  2. Just fantastic, John. A perfectly formed Italian sonnet with a natural blend of poetic and demotic language.
    When each of my kids was born, I looked around for a poem on children to blog about, but I struggled. It struck me there were few really good poems around about the joys of having children, or – as here – grandchildren. So this is a very worthy addition to an under-stocked genre.

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    • It’s very good to hear from you Andy, and thank you.

      Like

  3. Gosh dad, that’s really beautiful! Nell and your trip to see the snowdrops xxxx

    Sent from my iPhone

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    • Yes that’s right – in an old country churchyard. Thanks honey.

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  4. I recognise that ‘little lass’. Terrific poignant poem this (even if I’m biased!).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah well, your little lass is an inspiration.

      Like

  5. This is lovely, John, and skillfully crafted as your poetry always is.

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    • Thanks a lot Brad. It’s good to hear from you.

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  6. What a lovely portrait of a beloved granddaughter “birdsong and blossom”. The true herald of spring indeed.

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  7. Beautiful.

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  8. I love how you wove a poem of praise out of a moment of transition, the past characterized by mortality and the architecture of indigenous response to the ancient cycles, and then the miracle of the innocent child

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  9. As if she were addressing us with a message from beyond that grim landscape. Really remarkable in its subtle mesh of reflections on time and the radiant joy beyond time. My clunky paraphrase should return us to the eloquence of the poem.

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  10. No clunky paraphrase there, Tom: you have seen what I was aiming for, and I am most grateful to you for reading the poem so carefully and commenting as you have.

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  11. Sometimes, John, poems do not need analysis. They deserve a smile on a day when the moss on the sides of stones looks more gray than a gray sky and a corner is turned and suddenly radiance in the form of small bursts of flowers bring light into the day.

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    • Yes, that’s how it was Tom: just such a moment. I am glad the poem struck you in this way. Thanks.

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  12. A magnificent poem! Love, Ethel

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  13. A lovely spring poem, John, the wonder of the season for a small child colourfully rendered with love, pride and great technical skill. Having young grandchildren of my own, ‘Herald of Spring’ really touched me.

    My very best,

    Paul

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    • Very many thanks Paul. I think we both feel very privileged.

      Like

  14. I enjoy the opening that this poem inspires. It is very delightful and captures the élan of spring. A joy to read.

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  15. This is just lovely, John. I was completely transported by it.

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  16. Beautiful sir. I stumbled across your blog. And, now I feel lucky to have come here. That’s all i can say to praise your work. Do check out a few of my poems, and if you have time, please share your feedback.

    Best Regards,
    Ricky

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  17. John, of all your recent poems I believe I like this the best. You manage to communicate—and profoundly—the real joy of a grandfather as he takes this wonderful young girl out for a walk in a world made new by her perception of it. And you invoke in what was surely a private moment a great deal of the public world that we all think of when we think of England. The cuckoos remind me of Hopkins, for instance.
    And look at you, proud grandfather, as you go skipping among the white petals…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Very many thanks Jim – that’s kind. It’s good to hear from you too. You can bet that I’m a pretty comic sight as I go skipping though!

      Like


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