Daily Archives: January 31, 2011


Wordsworth wrote an endless poem in blank verse on” the growth of a poet’s mind.”  I shall attempt a more modest feat for a more distracted age: a blog, “Things which a Lifetime of Trying to Be a Poet has Taught Me.” 

            It is good to have experienced Winter as a metaphor for a bleak eternity, as the oppressive and inexorable descent of entropy over the universe at the end of time when all the stars have gone out.  It teaches you that Spring does come after all, that death is not the final word, even as it forces you to take death’s role as the final enemy with full seriousness.  If Spring is the Resurrection, then Fall is this life.  And every cycle of the seasons gives you a new chance to appreciate and try to grasp these metaphors and the mystery they hint at.


I stand on the knife-edge ‘twixt Autumn and Winter

And watch the spent leaves blow.

To remember is to be

And to love, to know—

And so—

The leaves are turned to snow.


That cloud

And that horizon

And those trees

Arranged in just that way that I now see

Give just the very faintest ray

Of hope that this long Winter may

Indeed, at long, long last, give way

To Spring.

            It is good, I say, to have lived in the upper Midwest and learned such lessons.  It is also good to have come back to the South so that one can remember them in the lingering beauty of a proper Spring or Fall!

Donald T. Williams, PhD