Sunday, March 22, 2015


I saw my first robin of the season on the way to church last week.

The sun was shining.  It was warmer that day than it had been in a long time.

I did not wear my puffy down coat.
No hat.
No gloves.
No boots.

Just a light shawl.

I have been hearing birds singing ever since that day.

Spring is here.

And we welcome this season of new life.
We welcome the shedding of  heavy clothes--the stripping of  winter skins
We look with anticipation at bare limbs beginning to sprout buds-- the foretaste of green leaves  and colorful blossoms.

We even welcome the rain that will come in seasonal abundance, smelling of soil and growth and sunshine.

Spring inspires poets.

We can't look at all the changes and beauty of this time of year without painting images on paper, seeding our world with words of  resurrected life, and welcoming the new lightness that we are beginning to feel.

We can't help but stand at our windows with Billy Collins in his poem, Monday,  and watch the world gradually dress itself in lovely Easter finery.
The birds are in their trees,
the toast is in the toaster,
and the poets are at their windows.

We experience these changes with Basho in his haiku--- with our eyes and our noses.
Spring air —
woven moon      
and plum scent.
 The  rays shift and shade new angles--in 812, Emily Dickinson highlights that spring light

A Light exists in Spring
Not present on the Year
At any other period —
When March is scarcely here

A Color stands abroad
On Solitary Fields
That Science cannot overtake
But Human Nature feels.

It waits upon the Lawn,
It shows the furthest Tree
Upon the furthest Slope you know
It almost speaks to you....
 Several years ago, as my fifth graders and I were walking back in to our school from recess, we saw several crocuses just blooming.  These were the first flowers we  had seen that spring.  At their insistence, I snapped a picture.

Once back in our room, we immediately engaged in a cumulative sentence process (Holland 2012, pp 171-175) to  collaboratively produce the following cumulative poem:

Five purple crocuses
pushed their heads up
through the hard winter soil
greeted the sun
opened their silken petals
drank the sweet spring rain
and danced--
just for us.

As you search for poems that reflect your spring spirit, there are many resources that offer what you seek.

The Academy of  American Poets Website, Poets.Org, offers a range of spring poems

Poetry Foundation also offers us a range of poems and articles about spring

Another source for classic and contemporary spring poems is the poetry section of

Today's Deeper Writing Possibilities

 Stand at your window and observe the seasonal signs and changes that indicate spring is here.

Take a walk noting the evidences of new growth and life.

Write the longest sentence you can, detailing your observations.  Include many clauses, phrases actions, and descriptions.

Then begin to choose several phrases from your sentence to create your own cumulative poem.

Here is my sentence and resulting cumulative poem:

New life hides beneath the surface waiting for one more drop of rain,  reaching for one more ray of sunlight, hoping for a quiet breath of spring air, while judging just the right moment to poke through the hard dirt, to show one bare bud, to furl one green leaf,  gasping at the struggle to defy winter death.

New life hides
beneath the surface
waiting for one more drop of rain
one more  ray of sunlight
and a quiet breath of spring air
while judging the right moment
to emerge
poking through the hard dirt
showing one bare bud
unfurling one green leaf
at the struggle
to defy winter death.

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