Landscape by James LambertThree Poems on Summer, by C.B. Anderson The Society July 1, 2020 Beauty, Culture, Humor, Poetry 24 Comments Summer Concerts The katydids and stridulant cicadas Regale us with their aestival sonatas. At night, surrounded by the song of crickets, We listen just as though we’d paid for tickets. first published in The Lyric In Praise of Delay Already it is June, And shrubs that flower in the spring Have gone ahead and done their thing, At least a month too soon In my opinion. Why Can they not wait a little while And cater to the floraphile Who craves a pink July? Impatience is to blame For this, unless I miss my guess; If faced with procreative stress Perhaps I’d do the same And burgeon weeks ahead Of time. I often ask too much Of shrubs with which I keep in touch: To follow me instead Of nature. Let me say In my defense that no good plant Is forced to flower when it can’t, But some will find a way. Evening Approaches on the Fourth “… Here once the embattled farmers stood ….” —Ralph Waldo Emerson, from “Concord Hymn” Some large exfoliating tawny patches Of bark hang loosely from the river birch Which shades our patio, and they remind ___Us of the parchment signed Two centuries ago when State and Church ___Were one. A robin catches A caterpillar on the ground, and thus Seems fully fit and able to declare Its independence. While mosquitoes hover ___Like suitors round a lover, Aggressive squads of swifts patrol the air ___Above, defending us From reinforcements. Many kinds of flowers Close up at night, but we have planted others That open after dark: They summon moths ___As checkered tablecloths Might summon us, and like attentive mothers ___We watch them play for hours. first published in Strong Verse C.B. Anderson was the longtime gardener for the PBS television series, The Victory Garden. Hundreds of his poems have appeared in scores of print and electronic journals out of North America, Great Britain, Ireland, Austria, Australia and India. His collection, Mortal Soup and the Blue Yonder was published in 2013 by White Violet Press. NOTE: 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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. 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) 24 Responses Peter Austin July 1, 2020 These are delightful of content and writing. I love the dry, understated humour that hovers in their background. Reply C.B. Anderson July 1, 2020 Peter, For the latter, it’s not a matter of craft; I think it’s just my natural voice. Reply Joseph S. Salemi July 1, 2020 What’s especially nice is Kip Anderson’s unfettered use of recondite vocabulary: “stridulant,” “aestival,” “floraphile,” and “exfoliating.” This shows a healthy contempt for the brainless simplicity of current poetic trends. Reply Joe Tessitore July 1, 2020 Can contempt ever be healthy? Is it “brainless simplicity” to write so that others understand? I don’t know what any of those words mean (though some could be deduced from their context) and have read just about all of Robert Frost, without once having to retreat to the dictionary. Reply Mike Bryant July 1, 2020 Well said, Joe. C.B. Anderson July 1, 2020 Susan, Even Americans, if they know how to pronounce the word, render both “A”s as “ah.” “Aestival” is not such an unusual word. It goes along with “vernal,” “autumnal” and “hibernal.” C.B. Anderson July 1, 2020 Joe, there’s nothing wrong with simple words. But please bear in mind that the English language contains a larger vocabulary than any other language (due in part, I suppose, to the reach of the British Empire), and it’s never a bad idea for a writer to use as much of it he or she can. For myself, I never read anything without a good dictionary at hand. C.B. Anderson July 1, 2020 Too bad for Robert Frost. Mike Bryant July 1, 2020 C. B., Cicada has two pronunciations in American English… https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cicada Apparently, in the NE part of the country it rhymes with sonata, however the first pronunciation in most American dictionaries does not. That’s what’s so great about America! Susan Jarvis Bryant July 1, 2020 You say “ci-cay-da”, I say “ci-cah-da” – let’s call the whole thing off! Joseph S. Salemi July 1, 2020 To Joe T. — Yes, contempt can be quite healthy if it is directed towards silly and destructive trends in both literature and education. The current attempt to stifle any poetic use of words that aren’t in the third-grade Basal Vocabulary List is one of those trends. Part of the enjoyment of good literature is the side benefit of learning and cherishing unfamiliar words. Shakespeare and Milton were so aware of this that they personally invented several hundreds of new coinages, and made use of many obscure terms. C.B. Anderson July 1, 2020 The funny thing, Joseph, is that once such words become part of one’s vocabulary, they become familiar friends, no longer recondite. Reply T. M. July 1, 2020 C. B.: So delightful. Almost thou persuades me to enjoy summer. I’m counting the days until fall, but your verse encourages me not to miss the beauty and joy of (ugh) summer. Blessings. Reply T. M. July 1, 2020 “persuadest” I meant to say, before the spelling corrector interfered. Reply C.B. Anderson July 1, 2020 It’s not all bad, T.M., and it has its own unique set of benefits, but on my next post I will examine the downside of summer. Reply T.M. July 1, 2020 I can supply you with ample reasons, if you need any, which I doubt. I look forward to reveling in that post. Susan Jarvis Bryant July 1, 2020 I simply adore these poems! All three of them shine like beams of summer sun and I’m basking in beauty of your mellifluous eloquence. I have added the word “aestival” to my collection jar of words, and I must say I thoroughly enjoyed those “stridulant cicadas” with their “aestival sonatas” (is that the U.K pronunciation of cicada?). To me they sound like mini screeching banshees that bash my ears with their belligerent blare. Reply C.B. Anderson July 1, 2020 Sorry, Susan. My comment above to your comment got misplaced, and it was supposed to follow yours. Reply James A. Tweedie July 1, 2020 The Master of Enjambment strikes again and hits three bullseyes with one blow! Good show, C.B., and I didn’t even have to pay for the tickets! Reply C.B. Anderson July 1, 2020 Yes, James, admission is always free. Reply Julian D. Woodruff July 2, 2020 Mr. Anderson, Immensely skilful and beautifully observed! On no. 2, to take a different position (in less erudite language) … Plums rush to blossom early ‘Round San Francisco Bay. You’ll see them Januarily, E’en sooner, bathed in sunny ray. In western New York state All blossomed branch and brush Turn up boorishly late. They smirk at me: “Hey, what’s the rush?” Reply Sultana Raza July 2, 2020 Well done C.B.! It’s good to see that you practice what you preach, ie follow your own advice regarding enjambment in your own poems. I must say my order of preference would be the 1st, the 3rd, and then the 2nd one (in terms of concept). For what it’s worth, I also agree with Dr Salemi that: “Part of the enjoyment of good literature is the side benefit of learning and cherishing unfamiliar words.” Reply David Watt July 4, 2020 C.B., you have provided me with a refreshing glimpse of summer in the midst of our Canberra winter. I appreciate your use of less commonly used words. The only stipulation in using unfamiliar words should be that they are in context. There can be no doubt that the words you have used add clarity and meaning. Reply Monty July 20, 2020 Regarding your third piece, CB: it was most refreshing to notice a rhyme-scheme rarely seen on these pages. I admire your imagination and boldness in dispensing with the ‘everyday’! As for the piece as a whole: it’s pleasing to see enjambement used so freely and comprehensively (such usage reinforces my long-held belief that most poetry should be read as prose – capital letter to full-stop; or sentence by sentence – regardless of where lines end); and it’s that very use of enjambement which enabled you to contain the whole piece to just four sentences. Masterful. 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. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.