SONETTO PRIMAVERA

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Love, I do not love you more in spring
when every green thing boldly sprouts
new blades and the old dogwood touts
plump promises of pinkwhite blossoming—

my love for you needs no awakening—
it’s grown in every season: flood and drought,
the stun of cold, the wilt of heat. Within, without.
I do not love with less than everything.

Still, there is a quickening in spring my heart
can sense, can see—as if a blackwhite photograph
turned gracefully to hues of flame and sun and sky;

it stirs my love for you— my fully seasoned art—
to a fresh colour, a brief dance, a song, a laugh
that fools me once again without my knowing why.
.
.
SONETTO PRIMAVERA

76 responses »

  1. A famous-in-New-Zealand long dead poet, James K. Baxter, came and spoke to us when we were 16 years old at High School. He said to practise form, practise form, practise form and then after 20 years of practice, write your poetry. He was inclined to exaggeration, but you have mastered the art. I kneel in homage.

    • It’s interesting that you remember such advice, Bruce. I doubt it’s given nowadays, though I still believe in it, fogey that I am. Now, since you’re already on your knees, I’ll dub you once, twice, thrice, and say “Hail, Sir Bruce of the Youthful Countenance!” …and thank you.

  2. I get so excited when I see you’ve posted, Cynthia, because I know there will be something exquisite to read. This poem makes me smile and ache in all the right places.

    • You know, Barbara, one of the joys of blogging, for me, is that it opens up my world to knowing so much more about the larger world. In the past, I never would have thought about how it must be autumn in Tasmania, as I blithely write my little poem about springtime. But becoming acquainted with lovely people like you changes the sensitivity, if not the perspective. I can understand your seasonal confusion! But thank you for reading and for your appreciation. ❤

  3. A pure, poetic, pristine expression of longing, which always seems strongest on auspicious days–whenever they turn up, for the arena of the heart is wide and capable of revealing to us the minutest strand of true need.

    • This is such a beautifully composed comment in its own right, and (coming as it does after a longish stint of responding to comments) leaves me with a paucity of words to express an overwhelming of emotion. Indeed the arena of the heart is wide, and the longing is….long. Thank you, Prospero.

      • It’s easy to write ecstatically when someone like you provides the inspiration, and since I have no aptitude for writing poetry myself, having to sunder out and wheedle murmurs of the soul (usually with a crowbar and, parenthetically, to the dismay of some readers ) from prose, I rely on you.

        • It’s mutual, my dear Prospero, a sort of high-order ping pong game of wit, imagination and love of language. I’ve learned that my best moments of inspiration come in reciprocity with someone who incites them by virtue of his or her own genius in those areas. Really good ping-pongers don’t come along very often, and it is to my great delight when one does…like you, for instance….whereupon my gratitude is boundless.

          • Table tennis partners, serving up wit with an ambrosial lexicon. And even though your glistening youth gives you an unfair advantage, I still enjoy the game.

  4. Magnificent Cynthia. I must confess what came to mind as I read it and that was a sonnet of Shakespeare’s #116.
    “Let me not to the marriage of true minds…”

    • “…love is not love which alters when it alteration finds…” Yes, Lea, also a favorite of mine…In fact, I have a poem in my archives from last fall the title of which is stolen from Shakespeare’s sonnet: “Love’s Not Time’s Fool”….He was a master of love sonnets, wasn’t he!

  5. what a masterpiece, Cynthia! I have listened to your exquisite reading several times. as I have remarked before that reading by the author is my very favorite art of the great gift you are offering us each week. mercy mille foie!

    • Your comment just made my day, Julie, (though the only sort of liver I enjoy is good foie gras) I knew you’d know the difference between “foie” and “fois”…but it’s just the kind of blooper I find myself committing these days full of keyboarding. Love it! And I’m pleased you like the audio. It’s not always the easiest to do but I’m glad I started it. C’est a dire, it’s so nice you stopped by. Hope all is well at your end.

  6. What a beautiful expression of love, Cynthia, and spring. Love as a fully seasoned art is quite a stirring line for me, though the whole poem is very arousing. My wish is that you have someone to read it to…perhaps that we all do. Love.

    • It is an art, isn’t it, when fully seasoned. I do have someone to read it to…probably too far away to hear, but that does not lessen love, and I too hope we all find it in our lives. Thank you for a beautiful comment, Anna.

  7. Hi Cynthia ,love without boundaries , all seasons specially in Spring bring back the sentiment of the past. Enjoyed the rhyming ,and the ideas love is the ultimate wsh of everyone.Jalal

  8. Beautiful writing Cynthia – it gives an appreciation for the warmth of Spring, sun on the face, burst of color from the folds of buds and sense of positive energy. That’s what I feel when your heart jumps a skip at the thought of the simple, but marvelous treasures that Spring brings. Happy May to you my friend.

    • Someone once asked me what my favorite months of the year are, and without hesitation I knew the answer was May and October….both beautiful here in New England….and too short. But we won’t think about that. Several of my favorite people were born in May, most of them under the sign of Taurus….I think I read somewhere that you are a Gemini, also a sign in May, so much to look forward to!

      • I have to agree Cynthia there is something very special about both months – air signals change beginning both both periods, to awaken and fall asleep. Wonderful times. Oh yes, I am so Gemini as you can see so many of the characteristics from personality to what I paint – I can change with the wind as the twins tease my senses. Have the most beautiful May Cynthia, and hope you enjoy all 31 days of this special time.

        • Indeed, Mary, your artwork has that quality of doubleness….fiercely independent, but always open to good communication, hard- working but never repetitive or boring, sometimes tears, sometimes smiles….definitely gemini! Since I don’t know the exact date, I’ll say it now: Happy Birthday!

  9. I love the road this poem travels, that you persuade us into agreement at each turn. Your reading makes sure we hear the cadences and the clipped or flowing words that speak the story. I hesitate to say it, but why not, it has an echo, a sort of Shakespearian lilt to it, both in its movement and sentiment.

  10. Thank you so much. I needed to read something lovely about love today and will return to this lovely “sonetto”. What perfect words and scansion.

    • Hello, old friend….last week I could write a sonnet in a day; this week it’s the slough of despond. I may be beginning to understand the suffering madness involved in the serious attempt to live as a poet. But your visit and comment cheer me. Thank you, Natalie!

      • I have just today received your letter, and am so, so sorry to hear about your loss. You say you will be in London for a month….I will write back to you in June. Take care.

  11. Reads like a classic love poem Cynthia – how absolutely beautiful it is too!♥ And very much a poem of true love, my kind of love poem! 🙂 I’ve never been in relationship that’s lasted many years, but I do remember my parents reminiscing over some memory, looking at old photos, hearing a favourite song on the radio, and somehow there was this blooming between them that magically erased all the stress of the present time. A world, a time, a moment that neither my brother or I knew nothing about. We wished they could have been like that all the time. I guess many couples have those wonderful fooling moments as you describe in your poem. Or are they real, and the rest of the time it is not?

    I noticed you used colour instead of color. Do you spell colour the UK way? I notice these little things because I have to double check certain spelling for the magazine – it’s always fine, but certain words or phrases have me wondering if it is sometimes. I realised I have a blog where UK and US spelling exist quite happily together. How delightfully confusing this web mingling of many nations and spelling is! 😀

    • Lovely memories about your parents, Suzy. Long term relationships are indeed a well seasoned art,
      and “fooling” is probably a part of that.
      Interesting that you should mention the spelling of “colour.” It must be a combination of exposure to so many wonderful British bloggers and also it must be that it appeals aesthetically to me, for no rational reason. I hadn’t even realized that I did that, until you just pointed it out! I think we all understand the differences and it’s okay to move seamlessly in and out of the them don’t you? And you’re right, blogging widens the realm of possibilities. As I mentioned in a comment above, I was suddenly chuckling to think that I was writing a poem about spring when it is autumn in Tasmania, where one of my readers lives…..and it was a mental confusion to her, even though she liked the poem. Change, impermanence….that’s what it is needful to learn…. 🙂

      • Ah, I did wonder if it might be something like that – a different spelling makes a change! I have found myself trying to spell colour – color, or humour – humor, partly because it feels easier and more logical to spell, but also because I get used to using US spelling for tags on my tumblr blog. I worked out that there are more US users of Tumblr than UK so if you want more readers to find your post in a search for a subject, best to go with US spelling. So I’m getting confused too!

        My friend who is originally from the US often reminds me that a lot of US spelling and words like ‘gotten’ are actually originally from the UK. I’ve not looked into that deeply, but it does make sense to me, as I know our UK language and spelling has been influenced and altered over many years by other European countries. I quite like the randomness of spelling on the internet, it breaks hard rules, and that appeals to my ever so slightly rebellious nature! 😉

        Oh yes, I did read that comment about the seasonal confusion! This blogging is is a real education in other peoples worlds!

        I meant to say that your poem read as a duel poem to me, about the love of spring and spring reminding of love. Or was I reading more into it than was actually there? I do love poetry or lyrics with more than one meaning. 🙂

  12. Lucky are we who have known such a love as this, quickening in springtime celebration down the years. A truly beautiful, touching poem, Cynthia – one I shall not forget.
    Paul

    • Love that matures and abides down the years is indeed a great gift and luck. And I chuckle to myself even as I try occasionally to write about it. It’s all been known and written about quite beautifully before now, but —even as your own poems attest to—we keep on trying to say what seems unsayable, ultimately…..silly poets! Thank you for your very kind comment, Paul.

  13. Love this sonetto primavera. My fave line:
    “my love for you needs no awakening—
    it’s grown in every season”

    That’s the best type of love. 🙂

  14. Hullo, hullo! How have you been doing, Cynthia? I am in love with this poem of yours. Especially, I felt, the second stanza was amazing. Of course, it reminded of the poem by Shakespeare you and one of your readers mentioned above in the comments. Other than that, this poem also reminded of Pablo Neruda’s 17th of the 100 Love Sonnets. “I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you simply, without problems or pride: I love you in this way because I do not know any other way of loving but this, in which there is no I or you, so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand, so intimate that when I fall asleep your eyes close.”

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