Sunday, April 11, 2010

April Inventory

Is April especially inspiring or am I just noticing the multiplicity of April poems because I'm looking for them? I've found another, too long to quote in its entireity but you get the idea from the first two and last two stanza [it's horrible, isn't it to chop up a poem? Apologies.] This is "April Inventory" by W.D. Snodgrass

The green catalpa tree has turned
All white, the cherry blossoms once more.
In one whole year I haven't learned
A blessed thing they pay you for.
The blossoms snow down in my hair;
The trees and I will soon be bare.

The trees have more than I to spare.
The sleek, expensive girls I teach,
Younger and pinker every year,
Bloom gradually out of reach.
The pear tree lets its petals drop
Like dandruff on a tabletop.

. . .
While scholars speak authority
And wear their ulcers on their sleeves,
My eyes in spectacles shall see
These trees procure and spread their leaves.
There is a value underneath
The gold and silver in my teeth.

Though trees turn bare and girls turn wives,
We shall afford our costly seasons;
There is a gentleness survives
That will outspeak and has its reasons.
There is a loveliness exists,
Preserve us, not for specialists.

I'm looking for and haven't found, and may have to write it myself, the poem about older women lamenting the beautiful young men who barely glance at them.


Kass said...

There's a lot in this poem that I want to take seriously, but the rhyming makes it light-hearted. I still like it, though.

June Calender said...

I think the rhyming suggests he takes himself and his stereotypical longings for pretty young things ironically. I hope so.

Jonas said...

Believe you me, there's many an older man who laments his "invisibility" to pretty young ladies. As time passes, older people seem to become ever more inconsequential to most. It's humbling.