in the woods, I stop in twilight dim …
as spring throws off the evening’s hoarfrost coat
midst groaning fir and shivering bare limb
I hear the spirit whisperings that float
on ragged winter-worn breaths sighing through
the ancient dark depths in capacious folds
of days-end mystic green to primal blue  …
the frozen still white world has lost its hold –
it melts in water trickles and the stir
of scurried swish and fauna-crack-on-twig
and chirr, and caw and warble and sweet chirp –
ruffles through the sand, dry grass and sprig:

as life, in time, is given and is taken
the dead earth – once again – begins to waken


Wendy Bourke lives in Vancouver, Canada where she writes, goes on long rambling walks gathering photos and inspiration – and hangs out with her family (especially her two young grandsons).  After a life loving words and scribbling poetry lines on pizza boxes and used envelopes, Wendy finally got down to writing “in earnest” and four years ago, began posting poetry on her poetry blog and submitting it for publication.  She received first prize in the Ontario Poetry Society’s Sparkle and Shine contest in 2014 and her work has appeared in dozens of anthologies, journals and chapbooks.

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16 Responses

  1. Joseph Charles MacKenzie

    Yes, this strikes that lyrical note I am always looking for. A Shakespearean sonnet with the couplet used to good effect. This poem truly exploits the structures in a beautiful, evocative way. There is quite a bit going on in terms of sound, so that we are treated to the euphony of spring itself in a way. This is exactly the kind of poem that restores poetry itself to its original lustre.

    This is Ars Poetica Nova poetry.

  2. David Watt

    The final couplet is particularly striking and satisfyingly rounds off the many vivid images preceding.

  3. Julia

    This is a beautiful poem! I love the picture it paints, of snow melting away, trickling into the dark recesses of the earth, and wildlife slowly emerging from hibernation. Thank you for sharing your writing with the world.

  4. Mercy

    Hi! I’m Mercy and i’m 9. My mom read me this poem today and I liked the part about the TWILIGHT. I like the sound of that word and the picture it puts in my mind. Thanks for sharing your work!!!

  5. Samuel

    Hello, I’m 11 years old and I liked the way you described the bird noises. There are lots of birds where I live now because Spring is here. Thank you for writing and sharing this poem.

  6. Wilude Scabere

    Ms. Bourke’s predominantly monosyllabic sonnet neatly and onomatopoetically captures the transition of winter to spring, as Ms. Boquet succinctly points out. As Mr. Watt and Mr. MacKenzie indicate, the final separated couplet is also an effective generalization. I likewise enjoy Ms. Bourke’s use of hyphenated adjectives, ellipses and dashes.

    However, not in my wildest dreams would I ever imagine the writing of sonnets part of any New Poetical Art (Ars Poetica Nova), unless one is referring to the overall musical styles that flourished in Italy and France in the late Middle Ages [as the great German musicologist Johannes Wolff has so labeled them]. Part of the sonnet’s charm is its historical claim, reminding us of the fertility of late Middle Ages poetry and our relationship to it here in the 21st Century. In reference to that, there is an almost Chaucerian naiveté in Ms. Bouke’s sonnet, which can be seen in its appeal to even very young readers.


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