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by James Graham 

Posted: 22 November 2011
Word Count: 35
Summary: Tried to make initial words form a sentence too. Came out as three short sentences. I'm sure this is 'dictated by the form'.

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Welcome the early dark, the morning
Ice. All seasons are themselves.
Nourish the tame birds and shivering
Trees. All seasons are equivocal.
Expect the green to fail, succeed again; expect
Reward. All seasons are magnanimous.

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Comments by other Members

V`yonne at 11:50 on 22 November 2011  Report this post
I love that last word on winter, James.
All seasons are magnanimous.

We so seldom think of winter in those terms but it is! Just as the others can sometimes fail in their promise. It says so much, this and yet it is quite formal in its punctuation and repetition of All Measured.

Nella at 15:33 on 22 November 2011  Report this post
This is lovely, James! Real poetry. I really like the first two lines - they are so optimistic. I'll think of them next time I start to groan over my iced-up windshield.


FelixBenson at 00:21 on 23 November 2011  Report this post

This poem is as finely balanced as the sentiment it conveys. Each time I read it, I change my mind about which line I like best. Not a word is wasted. I think when poems are good, when they chime with me, then I sometimes feel a sense of deja vu. Of course! I thought, seasons are themselves, and magnanimous....and especially, equivocal!

It's a wonderful hymn of acceptance.

Expect the green to fail, succeed again;

Life (and weather) is like that, the green fails and succeeds again. The ending is uplifting too.

Plus, because use of the word season or winter is so open, this poem can go beyond literal seasons, embracing other kinds of cyclical periods of life or society. So, the poem acquires a brace of other meanings - in portraying a metaphorical season or say, an emotional "winter" for example, which makes you look again at those images:
Nourish the tame birds and shivering

How easily they could come to convey an emotional state of loss or sadness. And then the opening lines sound even more positive:

Welcome the early dark, the morning

Welcome all that might seem cold and dark, it is all valuable, and gives more than you might think, says this poem.

I quite agree!

A very successful acrostic. Thanks very much for this read, James.


Account Closed at 16:46 on 23 November 2011  Report this post
This speaks very eloquently to me, James. I'm winter-born and, unlike so many people, I don't wish the winter away. Particularly as I've got older, I find that I welcome each season as it comes, am ready for it and I welcome the first nip in the air as much as I do the first snowdrop. Fab little poem, thank you for it.


James Graham at 10:48 on 25 November 2011  Report this post
Thanks to all. I'm glad it seemed to work as a poem, because writing it felt very much like doing a crossword, all focus on getting the words into the 'grid' and hardly any on the 'poetry' of it. It seems to have become a poem by accident. That's maybe how it is sometimes with verse forms written to a formula - the stricter the rules, the more you have to concentrate on them. I still think the sonnet is the ultimate challenge - to get the whole structure right, all the rhymes natural, and still end up with a poem half as good as 'On His Blindness'. Do you agree that the sonnet is the big one, or is there something even harder?


Nella at 17:21 on 27 November 2011  Report this post
I definitely agree that a sonnet is extremely difficult to do well!

Xenny at 15:05 on 09 January 2012  Report this post
Hi James,

I absolutely love this line:

All seasons are magnanimous.

It's a wonderful perspective and a great feeling to have when you see the world that way. I think this is going to be one of those lines that sticks in my mind and that I return to over and over. Like the line:

Softly, calmly, immensity taps at your life.

from Jane Hirshfield.

I'm not comparing the two. Just giving an example of a line that has that kind of 'something extra' as I feel your last line does.

I liked the rhythm of the piece very much. It became even clearer to me on rereading.

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