Painting by Kathleen Mistry‘Sonnet for a Homecoming’ and Other Poetry by Diana G. Woodcock The Society January 31, 2020 Beauty, Culture, Poetry 5 Comments Sonnet for a Homecoming Best way of all to be welcomed back at last, Returning home from months of life abroad: Spring songs of birds arouse me from my fast, Spill into empty house and littered yard. And now downpouring early morning rain Releasing scents of fresh green grass and leaves. It drums on drains, against the windowpane, Collects on tips of limbs and washes eaves. Before me stretches out May’s splendid days And all of summer’s brilliance—all three months. Now freed of teaching, meetings, grading essays, I’ll dedicate my energies to private triumphs And welcome all that come of their own free will— The titmouse, cardinal, white-throat and whip-poor-will. I Give Thanks all Day after William Stanley Braithwaite I give thanks all day for the purring of cats, For spring and fall and losses, For migrating birds and the mystery of bats, For the softness of feathers and mosses. I rejoice in my curiosity’s wandering bent That steers me beyond the mundane, Where imagination takes off like a bird aloft To soar above the clouds and rain. I give thanks all day for the mud and muck, For the pure lusciousness of mangroves, For little mud clams that crawl across toes, And pink stilted clouds of flamingos. I give thanks when words flow, cartwheel and spill, When I sing myself utterly away Like Basho’s cicada shell empty and still End of the last summer day. I rejoice in discovery And the great unknowing, For all that is coming And all that is going, For the example of the albatross With his wingbeatless gliding Reminding me to cease From my endless striving. I give thanks all day For the rapture and despair, For all that is missing And all that’s still there. Diana Woodcock teaches composition, creative writing, and environmental literature in Qatar at Virginia Commonwealth University’s branch campus, VCUarts Qatar. She is the author of seven chapbooks and three poetry collections: Tread Softly, Under the Spell of a Persian Nightingale, and Swaying on the Elephant’s Shoulders (winner of the 2010 Vernice Quebodeaux International Women’s Poetry Prize). Her poems have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net Award, as well as performed live on stage in Lincoln Park, San Francisco at Artists Embassy International’s 21st Dancing Poetry Festival. NOTE TO READERS: If you enjoyed this poem or other content, please consider making a donation to the Society of Classical Poets. NOTE TO POETS: The Society considers this page, where your poetry resides, to be your residence as well, where you may invite family, friends, and others to visit. Feel free to treat this page as your home and remove anyone here who disrespects you. Simply send an email to email@example.com. Put “Remove Comment” in the subject line and list which comments you would like removed. The Society does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or comments and reserves the right to remove any comments to maintain the decorum of this website and the integrity of the Society. Please see our Comments Policy here. CODEC News:Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) 5 Responses Joseph S. Salemi January 31, 2020 “Sonnet for a Homecoming” is striking, especially the second quatrain: And now downpouring early morning rain Releasing scents of fresh green grass and leaves. It drums on drains, against the windowpane, Collects on tips of limbs and washes eaves. Not only is the meter precise, but the omission of a finite verb in the first two lines (with dependence instead on the participles “releasing” and “downpouring”) is a sophisticated touch, reminiscent of Greek or Latin verse. The following two lines make up for the missing verb by giving us three separate verbs for the understood subject “rain”: (“drums, “collects,” “washes”). My only suggestion would be to remove the hyphens in “whip-poor-will,” which seem unnecessary and distracting. Reply Lannie David Brockstein February 2, 2020 To the reader at SCP: With hyphens is, in fact, the correct way to spell “whip-poor-will”: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/whip-poor-will Reply Sally Cook January 31, 2020 The Woodcock has long been one of my favorite birds; so I am glad to meet one in person. “Sonnet for a Homecoming” is lovely indeed. Like water, it both flows and reflects. I concur with everything Joe S. says, with one addition — I would also remove the hyphen from “whitethroat.” “I Give Thanks All Day” has images to which I respond; nature is always creeping into my work — often in unexpected ways. However, to me, meter is of prime importance, Because of this, I find the way it hops around distracting. As an experiment, why not try making two poems out of this one? In any case, I enjoyed your work and hope to see more. Thanks! Reply Lannie David Brockstein February 2, 2020 To the reader at SCP: With a hyphen is, in fact, the correct way to spell “white-throat” when referring to the white-throated sparrow: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/white-throated%20sparrow Reply C.B. Anderson February 3, 2020 I don’t know all that much about our birds, But I know something of the flow of words, And here we’ve seen an affluence of diction, An unimpeded flow devoid of friction. And I like the heterometric stanzas, despite how much they might irk other readers. If we don’t hear from you soon again, it will be our own loss. Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. Δ This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.