Monday, May 30, 2011

Today's poem by William Carlos Williams

The Widow's Lament In Springtime

Sorrow is my own yard
where the new grass
flames as it has flamed
often before but not
with the cold fire
that closes round me this year.
Thirtyfive years
I lived with my husband.
The plumtree is white today
with masses of flowers.
Masses of flowers
load the cherry branches
and color some bushes
yellow and some red
but the grief in my heart
is stronger than they
for though they were my joy
formerly, today I notice them
and turned away forgetting.
Today my son told me
that in the meadows,
at the edge of the heavy woods
in the distance, he saw
trees of white flowers.
I feel that I would like
to go there
and fall into those flowers
and sink into the marsh near them.

William Carlos Williams (1883-1963)


  1. I think it is odd how you often post a poem that fits my mood. Thankfully I am not a widow but I am attending a wake for my cousin today. When we were children we were together a LOT. Now that he has passed at such a young age it makes me so sad. I feel like my childhood has come to an end. So many sweet innocent memories flood in and out of my mind. A big part of it now gone.

  2. Lisa, I'm so, so sorry about your cousin.

  3. I'm very sorry too, Lisa.

    As for the poem, I swear, Nan, you're going to have me reading poetry if you don't stop this. I've never liked poetry, but the ones you post touch me.

  4. Oh, Barbara, I'm so pleased. I think that poetry expresses what we feel but don't always talk about, or even know how to talk about. If you want to read some more, there are a lot under the 'poems' tab. Each one is wonderful in its own way.

  5. Thank you Nan. Yet again a poem that's new to me, such lovely imagery, and delicate choice of words. I will stash it away to pass on, hopefully not soon, but I'm sure it would really speak to a new widow.
    I received Mary Oliver's Red Bird from Amazon today, the poems are the most personal I have read of hers, all a delight. Do you have it?

  6. This poem is so poignant and beautiful. It presents such pictures in my mind.

  7. Carole, I think he wrote it about his mother after his father's death. Yes, I do have Red Bird and I agree with you. I wonder if it is because it was published after Mary's partner had died.

    Kay, it really is beautifully written, I think.


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