Saturday, March 20, 2010

Vernal Equinox, An Etheree Poem

Photo of crabapple tree just out my back door taken March 20, 2010.

Is now
Poised between
Winter, summer.
All the news i need
Is just out my back door:
Crabapple fully blooming
At latitude thirty-eight north
Along the Pacific's eastern edge
Not the first day of spring, but its zenith.

Consisting of ten lines, the Etheree poem starts with a one syllable line, then adds one syllable per line, until the last line of ten syllables for an overall syllable count of 55. In other words the syllabic structure is as follows: 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10. It’s an uncomplicated, unpretentious form of poetry that has the quality of slowly opening, like a flower.


steven said...

dan look at that story!!! petals. pink petals! steven

Delwyn said...

Hi Dan
thank you for these lovely images...I do so love spring blossoms and there are none like this in the tropics...we do have flowering trees galore but the simple fruit - plum, peach and prunus blossoms are so sweet and cheerful...

I am going to NZ in a couple of weeks to visit family and Christchurch will be slipping back into autumn and winter doubt I will find plenty of colourful splendour.

Your etheree poem is great...I will try one... and no matter where you are you are right to say that we hover between winter and summer, or conversely summer and winter...

where does the name come from...I like that too

Happy days dear Dan

The Pollinatrix said...

I love this word - etheree. I just want to go around shouting it.

Your poem is wonderful.

I used to have a crabapple tree in the front yard of the house I grew up in in Toronto.

Dan Gurney said...


How's your family doing in NZ? I know you've been back to see your ailing father.

About the Etheree poem:

Quoting poet Jim Wilson here, "I know very little about Etheree Armstrong Taylor, other than she was a poet from Arkansas who seems to have developed a local following in her State. She is the inventor of a syllabic form which has developed a small, but devoted, following. This form is appropriately called “The Etheree” and it is simplicity itself.

Dan Gurney said...

Hi steven,

So you picked up on the message in the fifth line! I've been on a news/weather/traffic fast for the past month or so.

Having extracted myself from corporate story lines, has helped me become much more attentive and connected to my actual, real, lived-in, natural motherearthworldreality.

Wow. It's so much more interesting.

Dan Gurney said...

Hi, Polli,

Thank you. You wrote a lovely piece today. I really liked it. I talked a little about Etheree in my comment to Delwyn. I hope both you and she will try writing one.

Crabapples are blossoming, but so is just about every spring flowering plant around here. The yellow acacias have already turned brown; we're well past early spring here. We're smack dab in the middle of it. The high tide of spring.

Shaista (Lupus in Flight) said...

Dan, today is the Spring Equinox and therefore I wish you Navroze Mubarak, or Happy New Year from the Zoroastrian calendar :) Your crab apple tree and its poem-echo are delicious and perfect. Thankyou...

Dan Gurney said...

Thank you for leaving a comment, Shaista! I nipped over to your blog, and I like it.

Jim714 said...

Very nice Dan. I particularly like the lines:

All the news I need
Is just out my back door:

These lines add a dimension of meaning to the naturescape of the poem which leads in many directions. In other words, the poem gives the reader much to contemplate.

Pollinatrix: I also like the sound of the word "Etheree". I've never seen this name before. I think it is unusual. It seems to have an exuberant quality to it.


Jenny Stevning said...

Love it...the poem and photos!
I can't wait to play around with the new poem form.
Thank you for constantly opening my eyes.

Dan Gurney said...

Thank you, Jim. Those two lines sum up what might have been a 500 word post of its own. I agree. Set inside a poem, the allow the reader to contemplate what that might mean to me and what it might mean for the reader in his/her own life.

Jim do you know where the accent falls in the word, "Etheree"? Seems to want to be on the final syllable for fullest exuberance. But it could fall on the first syllable, too.

The word "Etheree" has an ethereal connotation which I like.

Dan Gurney said...

Jenny, you're welcome. I hope you try an Etheree poem, too. In future efforts, I'm going to strive to have at least two adjacent lines rhyme, as I was able to achieve in my first Etheree. It's kind of a little challenge to make the writing a tad more difficult and the satisfaction at the end, a little deeper.