Poetry Corner

The Spring Has Many Silences

By Laura Riding Jackson

The spring has many sounds:

Roller skates grind the pavement to noisy dust.

Birds chop the still air into small melodies.

The wind forgets to be the weather for a time

And whispers old advice for summer.

The sea stretches itself

And gently creaks and cracks its bones….

The spring has many silences:

Buds are mysteriously unbound

With a discreet significance,

And buds say nothing.

There are things that even the wind will not betray.

Earth puts her finger to her lips

And muffles there her quiet, quick activity….

Do not wonder at me

That I am hushed

This April night beside you.

The spring has many silences.

This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on March 27, 2022, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this poem: “The Spring Has Many Silences” first appeared in the Lyric V, no. 4 (April, 1925).

About this poet: Laura Riding Jackson, born on January 16, 1901, in New York City, was a poet, essayist, novelist, short story writer, and critic who, early in her career, was associated with the Modernist movement. She was the author of many titles, including The Close Chaplet (Hogarth Press, 1926) and The Telling (Athlone Press, 1972). She died on September 2, 1991, however, publication of her work has continued since her death, including First Awakenings (early poems, 1992), Rational Meaning: A New Foundation for the Definition of Words (1997), The Poems of Laura Riding, A Newly Revised Edition of the 1938/1980 Collection (2001), Under the Mind’s Watch (2004), The Failure of Poetry, The Promise of Language (2007), and On the Continuing of the Continuing (2008).

At the Spring Dawn

Angelina Weld Grimké

I watched the dawn come,

    Watched the spring dawn come.

And the red sun shouldered his way up

    Through the grey, through the blue,

Through the lilac mists.

The quiet of it! The goodness of it!

    And one bird awoke, sang, whirred

A blur of moving black against the sun,

    Sang again—afar off.

And I stretched my arms to the redness of the sun,

    Stretched to my finger tips,

        And I laughed.

Ah! It is good to be alive, good to love,

    At the dawn,

        At the spring dawn.

This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on March 26, 2022, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this poem: “At the Spring Dawn” appeared in Negro Poets and Their Poems (The Associated Publishers, 1923).

About this poet: Angelina Weld Grimké, born in Boston, on February 27, 1880, was a journalist, playwright, and poet from the Harlem Renaissance. Her work was collected in several Harlem Renaissance anthologies, including Negro Poets and Their Poems (The Associated Publishers, 1923) and The New Negro (Atheneum, 1925). She died on June 10, 1958.

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