Thursday, April 13, 2006

Spring in the Upper Midwest

Along with warmth comes the shifting-off of strong blankets.
How then to cover up the grey tones of Minneapolis?

Flour-dust? A city surrounded with silos,
the hollow cylinder is our stand-in for the obelisk,

filled up with powdered bones and sepals and stamens.
I just received a message from the Kingdom of Plants.

It says spring is nothing more than a series of small exorcisms.
Any bird already knows these things.

See how the sparrows travel in bullying swarms?
The kitchen tabletop can be thought of as a stretcher

for the wounded and the dead. And was that a gust
of sulfuric pollen or is your house burning down?

You can tell how all kinds of things are happening
on the cusp of gestating ground.

The open field also holds the tragedy of mirage and
the silo's likelyhood to go up in spontanious compustion.

Jasmine-muffled, our utterances are such gnomic rigmarole.
The spell, however, is more friendly than the dream.

And down falls the dazzling rain, the color of sound waves,
something like snow but with ulterior motives.

A covering which does not divert from its contents,
the quick powers that run up the roots of plants.


Lyle Daggett said...

Antonia, I hadn't realized that you lived in or near Minneapolis. (I notice your blog profile says Minnesota, but that covers a lot of ground.)

I'm hoping it doesn't get cold again here (or frost in May!) like it has in some years. I want lilacs soon. I want the breeze in the evening to smell like lilacs.

The best poem I've ever read about Minneapolis, one that I think really captures a lot of the essence of the city, is "The Minneapolis Poem" by James Wright, in his book Shall We Gather at the River (and would be in his Collected Poems now).

The Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko, in a prose memoir he wrote many years ago, said that in Siberia (where he grew up, in a tiny village on the plains), it gets so cold in the winter that when the ice melts on the rivers in the spring, it bursts with huge deep loud booming sounds, that can be heard for miles.

Antonia said...

Hello to a fellow Minneapolitain!

I predict it will be warm from here on out, but one never knows in this town. And yes, I love the lilacs as well.

Have never read the Wright poem but will search it out.

And how wonderfully dramatic it must've been to hear spring come on with a huge boom!

Thank you for this comment. I think it must be the most in-depth response I've received and I appreciate it very much.