“Dear March – Come In” by Emily Dickinson

“Dear March – Come In” is a poem by Emily Dickinson that explores the theme of nature and its changing seasons.

Emily Dickinson structured “Dear March – Come In”, as a conversation between the narrator and March, personified as a guest being welcomed into the narrator’s home. The narrator is eager to greet March, as the arrival of this month signals the end of winter and the start of spring. 

Dear March – Come In

Dear March—Come in—
How glad I am—
I hoped for you before—
Put down your Hat—
You must have walked—
How out of Breath you are—
Dear March, how are you, and the Rest—
Did you leave Nature well—
Oh March, Come right upstairs with me—
I have so much to tell—

I got your Letter, and the Birds—
The Maples never knew that you were coming—
I declare - how Red their Faces grew—
But March, forgive me—
And all those Hills you left for me to Hue—
There was no Purple suitable—
You took it all with you—

Who knocks? That April—
Lock the Door—
I will not be pursued—
He stayed away a Year to call
When I am occupied—
But trifles look so trivial
As soon as you have come

That blame is just as dear as Praise
And Praise as mere as Blame—

This poem is in the public domain.

Emily Dickinson uses vivid imagery to describe the changes that occur during this transition from winter to spring, comparing the arrival of March to the arrival of a guest, suggesting that the changing of seasons is something to be celebrated and welcomed. Her use of vivid imagery and metaphor creates a sense of excitement and anticipation for the arrival of spring, and the poem serves as a reminder of the beauty and wonder of the natural world.

Emily Dickinson was known for her unconventional lifestyle of self-imposed isolation. Despite living a life of simplicity and seclusion, her poetry is powerful and thought-provoking, known for its unique style and unconventional use of language. This makes her work both interesting and engaging to read, as her use of words creates a sense of mystery and intrigue.  Her poetry is deeply personal and introspective, exploring themes of love, death, spirituality, and nature, providing insight into the human experience.

Emily Dickinson challenged traditional poetic forms and conventions.

It is not surprising that Emily Dickinson has had a significant impact on the literary world, inspiring countless poets and writers over the years. Her work has been praised for its originality, depth, and beauty, and her influence can be seen in the work of many modern poets.

Until next we meet, safe travels wherever your poetic journeys lead you.

Walden by Henry David Thoreau

I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”

Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Every spring, I read passages from Walden by Henry David Thoreau from a hard copy book that my father gifted me many years ago.

Walden, published in 1854, is a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings, and is recognized as one of the most influential works of American literature. The book was first published in Boston by Ticknor and Fields and has since been republished numerous times.

Where is Walden?

Walden Pond, located in Concord, Massachusetts, was formed by retreating glaciers 10,000–12,000 years ago. In his book, Walden, Henry David Thoreau recounts his experiences over the course of two years, two months, and two days in a cabin he built near Walden Pond amidst woodland owned by his friend and mentor, Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Pursuits of Simplicity and Self-sufficiency

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”

Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Henry David Thoreau wanted to live deliberately, to examine his life and its purpose, to explore the idea of living in harmony with nature. He believed that by living in Walden he could better understand himself, his beliefs, and the world around him. He wanted to escape from the hustle and bustle of city life and to focus on his writing and philosophy.

The American Transcendentalist Movement

The American Transcendentalist movement was a philosophical and literary movement that began in the early 19th century, largely based on the writings of Henry David Thoreau and his friend, Ralph Waldo Emerson. This philosophy was a profound reaction to the growing industrialization and materialism of the time.

Transcendentalists believed that the human spirit was capable of transcending the physical world and finding spiritual truth, and that this truth could be found in nature and within oneself. They also believed in the power of individualism and the importance of living a moral and ethical life.

“Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.”

Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Is Walden Relevant Today?

Re-reading passages from Walden, I am encouraged to think deeply about the world me and the choices I have made in life. Henry David Thoreau’s writing style is both inspiring and thought-provoking. Do I value living a simple life? Do I appreciate the beauty of nature and the importance of living in harmony with it.

Walden is an insightful and timeless exploration of the human experience, and is essential reading for anyone looking to gain a deeper understanding of themselves and the world around them.

Thank you for joining me at my “Walden”.

After the Winter Rain by Ina Coolbrith

After the Winter Rain

by Ina Coolbrith

After the winter rain, 
   Sing, robin! Sing, swallow!
Grasses are in the lane, 
   Buds and flowers will follow.

Woods shall ring, blithe and gay,
   With bird-trill and twitter,
Though the skies weep to-day, 
   And the winds are bitter. 

Though deep call unto deep
   As calls the thunder, 
And white the billows leap
   The tempest under;

Softly the waves shall come
   Up the long, bright beaches, 
With dainty, flowers of foam
   And tenderest speeches…

After the wintry pain, 
   And the long, long sorrow, 
Sing, heart!—for thee again
   Joy comes with the morrow.

This poem is in the public domain.

After the winter rain, the world is transformed. The sky is a bright blue, the sun is shining, and the air is fresh and crisp. The trees are glistening with raindrops, and the grass is a vibrant green. Everywhere there is a feeling of new life and hope. The birds are singing, and the flowers are blooming. The world is alive and vibrant, and it is a beautiful sight to behold.

Ina Coolbrith’s poem captures this moment perfectly, reminding us that even in the darkest of times, there is always hope and beauty to be found.

Ina Coolbrith was a poet, librarian, and literary figure in California during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. She was the first California Poet Laureate, and was the first poet laureate of any U.S. state. Coolbrith was born in Nauvoo, Illinois in 1841 and moved to California in 1851. She was a prolific writer, publishing her first book of poetry at the age of 17.

Ina Coolbrith was a key figure in the literary and cultural life of San Francisco and was a mentor to many young writers, including Jack London and Isadora Duncan. She was also a member of the Bohemian Club and the Saturday Club, two of the most prominent literary and cultural organizations in the area. Ina Coolbrith was an advocate for women’s rights and education, and was a leader in the early women’s suffrage movement in California. She died in 1928 at the age of 87.

Were I to write what I know, the book would be too sensational to print, but were I to write what I think proper, it would be too dull to read.

Ina Coolbrith

Spring Under the Cherry Blossoms

“What a strange thing!

to be alive

beneath cherry blossoms.”

Kobayashi Issa, Poems

Kobayashi Issa speaks of the beauty of life and the fragility of existence.

The brevity of life and the transient beauty of cherry blossoms compels us to reflect on the briefness of a human life. There is a subtle call to action, a reminder of cherishing our moments.  May we celebrate and appreciate the beauty that surrounds us with heartfelt enthusiasm.

What a strange thing!

to be alive…

Kobayashi Issa was a renowned Japanese poet of the Edo period. He was born in 1763 in Kashiwabara, Shinanao province, a small village in the Kiso region of Japan. He was the son of a farmer and grew up in a rural environment, surrounded by nature. His poetry is known for its humor and lightheartedness, often featuring animals and nature.

Kobayashi’s pen name Issa, means “cup of tea” or, according to poet Robert Hass, “a single bubble in steeping tea.”

Issa Kobayashi, wrote over 20,000 haiku in his lifetime, and his works are still read and cherished today. He was a popular teacher, and his students included some of the most famous haiku poets of the time.

Despite the popularity of his works, Issa’s life was not easy. He suffered from great financial instability, and his works were not always well-received. He was often criticized for his unconventional style of writing, and he struggled to make a living. Despite these hardships, Issa continued to write despite adverse circumstances. His works are a testament to his perseverance and determination,

A Poem to Celebrate Valentine’s Day

Welcome to Poetry in the Evening,

I am your host, Rebecca Budd, and I look forward to sharing this moment with you.

February 14th, Valentine’s Day is a special time of year to celebrate love and appreciation for the special people in our lives. Whether a significant other, a family member, or a close friend, it is a wonderful opportunity to show them how much they mean to us. Valentine’s Day is a time to reflect on the joy and happiness that comes with expressing our love and appreciation for those around us.

To celebrate this special day, I want to share the poem, Loving you – is to be alive, by Jean-Jacques Fournier, from his poetry collection,  “Love, by any definition, A Collection of Love Poems”.

Thank you for joining me Poetry in the Evening.

Until we meet again, keep reading and reciting poetry.

Happy Valentine’s Day. Enjoy the spirit of the holiday.

IN (essence) by Veronica & Edwin Dam de Nogales

In(essence) Dam De Nogales Inc, Artists

In(essence) is a lasting reminder of the fragile beauty of nature, as the deer innocently lifts its head to the sky. With rich colours and elongated form, it creates a passageway symbolic of quiet living, of being one with the woods, of silent majestic encounters with wildlife, and of embracing a pause in time.

BOSA DEVELOPMENT Commissioned by Bosa Development in collaboration with the District of North Vancouver, 2020

North Vancouver, British Columbia is a vibrant city located on the North Shore of the Burrard Inlet, just across the water from Vancouver. Known for its stunning natural beauty, with lush forests, snow-capped mountains, and breathtaking views of the ocean, North Vancouver is home to several popular attractions, such as the Grouse Mountain Skyride, the Capilano Suspension Bridge, and the Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge.  It is a go-to place for those who love to hike, bike and kayak. Its vibrant arts and culture scene, with numerous galleries, theatres, and performing arts venues creates a sense of community.

North Vancouver’s planning department is committed to enhancing the living spaces of its citizens through public art. By partnering with local artists, the department has been able to create a variety of vibrant and unique public art installations throughout the city. These installations range from sculptures to murals, which generates a colourful and inviting atmosphere in the city.  

This past week on a rare clear day in the midst of our weeks of rainfall, I joined my mother, Frances, and sister, Sarah, for coffee in the Lynn Valley neighbourhood of North Vancouver.   That was when I first met the deer statue, In(essence), standing regally, with its head lifted up to the blue sky. 

Towering above me at nearly six metres tall, I felt the serenity of nature enfold the space around me.  I paused and breathed deeply.  The words on the signage resonated: “It creates a passageway symbolic of quiet living, of being one with the woods, of silent majestic encounters with wildlife, and of embracing a pause in time.” 

IN (essence) by Edwin & Veronica Dam de Nogales

In (essence) is created in bronze with a mix of polished French-brown and turquoise hues.  The artists, Veronica and Edwin Dam de Nogales’s designed In (essence) to be a lasting reminder of the fragile beauty of nature. 

Public art is an important part of our culture and society. It serves to beautify our cities and towns, to foster a sense of community, to celebrate local history and to express ideas and values.  Creative endeavours bring people together to build a sense of place and of belonging.

“It creates a passageway symbolic of quiet living, of being one with the woods, of silent majestic encounters with wildlife, and of embracing a pause in time.”