Saturday, March 18, 2017

Dirty Spring / Edward Sapir

Dirty Spring

The streets are filled with muck,
A dirty mess of melting snow and mud,
Splashing recklessly
As heavy-footed horses trot along.
Down from the snow-encrusted roofs
An icy dirty trickle pelts the pavement,
Little splashes mid the universal splash.
And the sky is blotched with dirty-gray cloudlets
Speeding under the sun.
The porches dribble with wet and they gently steam
Where the sun, piercing the dirty cloudlets,
Can cook them.
An irritated wind blows intermittently,
Banging doors, scattering wisps, napping capes and skirts.

The snow-locked beauty of winter is gone,
The rigors are loosening up;
Clean summer's not here yet.
The city moves from cleanly cold to cleanly warmth
Immersed in dirt.

Therefore, my friends, take heart!
You must not despair
When the passage from old to new is dirty;
When you ve left the old realm of glittering cold
And have not yet reached the new realm of glistening warmth;
When dead tradition is back of you,
When the new-born promise is off ahead of you,
And you struggle and splash in a welter of mud.

Edward Sapir (1884-1939)
from Dreams and Gibes, 1917

[Poem is in the public domain in Canada, the United States, and the European Union]

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