Last night I surprised myself. My Mslexia diary has a suggested exercise each month, and February’s was poetry. I haven’t written much poetry for years, but I decided to have a go. The exercise was to respond to a poem using some words from the original. Here is the original:
Snowdrops, by Charlotte Smith
Wan Heralds of the sun and summer gale!
That seem just fallen from infant Zephyrs’ wing:
Not now, as once, with heart revived I hail
Your modest buds, that for the brow of Spring
Form the first simple garland – Now no more
Escaping for a moment all my cares,
Shall I, with pensive, silent, step explore
The woods yet leafless; where to chilling airs
Your green and pencil’d blossoms, trembling, wave.
Ah! ye soft, transient, children of the ground,
More fair was she on whose untimely grave
Flow my unceasing tears! Their varied round
The Seasons go; while I through all repine:
For fix’d regret, and hopeless grief are mine.
I used the same metre, and the same last word on every line, for my response:
What though the rainclouds bank and winds blow gale,
And Autumn’s warmth and colour taken wing.
Though daily there is rain or snow or hail,
And fading is the memory of Spring.
Just at the darkest hour, when no more
Can music sweet or friendship lift my cares,
‘Tis then, as hesitantly I explore
The frozen ground, and mid the chilling airs
I see your tiny blossoms gently wave,
And stand with heads so proud above the ground.
You bring a ray of hope back from the grave,
And promise of the seasons turning round.
Then my despair with winter’s dark repine
And come no more, as joys of Spring are mine.
Hope you like it.