Hailed like a returning hero yet in itself Spring suffuses shyly. No ballyhoo debut but wave on showering wave it leaves the winter shelf revealing to our naked eyes, as lamplight in a cave And long before the vert outburst a movement so discreet, so nearly still we almost always miss the switch. First seen when brown departs below the distant hill for only later does the Spring make haste. The sauntering child of April starts its run the winter dead are weighed and laid to waste and sole survivors suckle on the sow of sun
The sea runs back against itselfJohn Betjeman – extract of “Winter Seascape“
With scarcely time for breaking wave
To cannonade a slatey shelf
And thunder under in a cave.
Before the next can fully burst
The headwind, blowing harder still,
Smooths it to what it was at first –
A slowly rolling water-hill.
Against the breeze the breakers haste,
Against the tide their ridges run
And all the sea’s a dappled waste
Criss-crossing underneath the sun….
For my MTB Critique and Craft prompt “Take a four line alternate rhyme scheme– it’s a steal” we are lifting alternate end rhymes (ABAB,CDCD,EFEF etc) from a published poet (or an earlier one of our own) and recreating a poem that breaks the predictable rhythm of rhyme. I took John Betjeman’s “Winter Seascape“
Poetry styles Ae Freslighe and The Russell also use this rhyme formation and are a further optional challenge.
18 thoughts on “Springscape”
This is absolutely gorgeous!! Wow! 😍 The poem in its entirety has such a classic feel to it. I especially love; “First seen when brown departs below the distant hill/for only later does the Spring make haste.” 💜💜💜💜
many thanks Sanaa – I wrote more stanzas but it seemed to want to end at 3
What a lovely springscape, Laura! I love where Betjeman’s rhymes took you and those lovely sibilant sounds and internal rhyme in ‘Spring suffuses shyly. ‘No ballyhoo debut‘. I also really like the lines:
The sauntering child of April starts its run
the winter dead are weighed and laid to waste’.
It was also a pleasure to read Betjeman’s ‘Winter Seascape’ again – I haven’t done so for a long time.
Its never easy writing about Spring for fear of being hackneyed or cliched so Betjeman helped! I chose him because he is a master rhymer though did not know the poem before (and think its one of his best so have now linked to the full version)
Laura, this bowls me over in goodness of composition and how it describes this time of year. “Spring … leaves the winter shelf” is so beautiful!
thank you Lisa – was unsure what to make of shelf till winter gave the adjective!
You’re welcome. Spring on winter’s shelf reminds me of a bear in a cave.
Oh, wow! Your springscape is lovely! Loved the alliteration in the last line.
thank you for enjoying this Springscape
You are very welcome.
I like the evocation of the different feelings of time passing. We do miss that transition point, always. (K)
thank you – I always have a sense of panic at this time of year
I like how your April showers of spring echoed the sea of the original poem, and how you expressed the slow-quickness of the change from winter, that seems to linger yet suddenly blooms.
nicely observed Maria – thank you
Yesterday it rained here, spring is almost gone. Lovely poem, Laura.
Spring is still here till mid-June yet once it gathers pace the changes are rapid
There’s a lot to love here, Laura. The sauntering child of April – know it well – and that almost missing the switch. The overall feel is great – you really capture that transition well.
thank you Sarah – there is always room for more poems about Spring as it is so evocative
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