Saturday, December 5, 2009

First published on November 12, 2009

I have not posted a Milly Jourdain poem for a while, so this morning I turned to the next page in her book. And alas, it is a bad one. No matter how much slack I want to cut this poem, "smarmy" is the kindest descriptor I can dredge up. Oh well. She was an unformed poet with occasional, accidental, flashes of beauty. I recently received a very kind rejection of the review I wrote about her book Unfulfilment, telling me that the editors liked my writing but not hers. Flattering yet depressing. Maybe I want poor Milly to be better than she is.

In any case, here's today's not very exciting submission. Tomorrow I plan to talk about Ted Hughes and perhaps do a bit of language comparison.

A Day in February

Joan Arden [Milly Jourdain]

When winter frost has come and gone,
          And spring-like days are near;
I hear the sweetest noise on earth,
          The bird-songs everywhere.

For all day long the thrushes sing,
          Though little green we see,
And roads are damp, and air is soft,
          And streams flow happily.

And still we feel the hidden strength
          Of winter frost and snow,
That makes the earth all pure and fresh
          For heavenly seeds to grow.

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