Poetry Friday: Cantata for Woodland and Orchestra by Ralph Murre

This week’s Poetry Friday is hosted by Rebecca Herzog at Sloth Reads 

IMG-7716

As this first week of March ends, most of our snow and ice have melted away.  For the last two evenings, I’ve seen geese fly up our valley and continue on north.  My garden beds have emerged, and I can see where I need to clear and weed when the days get just a bit warmer.   We are entering that just-before-the greening time, when the landscape around seems to be breathing gently, getting ready to stretch and awake fully again.   March seems to have come in like a lamb this year…but is welcome, never the less.

Cantata for Woodland and Orchestra by Ralph Murre

Next

There, just there — where the first cellos
of March come in, before the oboes
or the ides — there, the brooding

before budding or cranes return,
before clarion brass of calendar spring,
the thing made of maple and ice,

there, that dripping, the ripping of the long,
white garment, there, the giggling
of flutes, perennial roots waking in cold soil.

At last, a roll of timpani just
before this symphony season’s end,
a thunder of freeze unfreezing.

Cymbal crash of lightning tightening senses,
there, the tension as a hundred violins go wild,
waking your lover, waking your child.

Crescendo!
Innuendo of greening in the plop
of that first drop of the applauding rain

and it’s over again — there’s a silence
so profound we can hear the stirring
of the deep unknown, and underground.

7 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: Cantata for Woodland and Orchestra by Ralph Murre

  1. Ah, “we can hear the stirring”. Most of our snow & ice on the street edges is gone, too. It’s warmer for the next week or so, but it is March & they say it is often our snowiest month. The skiers do not want it to end yet! This image of an orchestra, slowly coming to its full “crescendo” is a most wonderful image. We will hear it soon! Thanks, Tara!

    Like

  2. Love your use of “breathing gently.” You can almost feel it this time of year as the mud melts in the fields. Mure’s poem is gorgeous. You really can hear the spring in a symphony. I love how sensory it is with clashing cymbals and the applause of rain. This one’s a keeper!

    Like

  3. So much to love in this poem, everything building to that crescendo climax and then …
    ” . . . there’s a silence
    so profound we can hear the stirring
    of the deep unknown, and underground.”
    I also love your description – “We are entering that just-before-the greening time, when the landscape around seems to be breathing gently, getting ready to stretch and awake fully again.”
    Spring is definitely in the air.

    Like

  4. Love this poem with its sounds from the orchestra and sensory images- “a thunder of freeze unfreezing”. The last stanza is beautiful especially the word silence juxtaposed with stirring. Thanks for sharing the poem and I just love your photo. I went to Syracuse this week for a statewide conference and met an educator from your BOCES area.

    Like

Leave a Reply to jama Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s