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Lizette Woodworth Reese


It is too early for white boughs, too late
For snows. From out the hedge the wind lets fall
A few last flakes, ragged and delicate.
Down the stripped roads the maples start their small,
Soft, ’wildering fires. Stained are the meadow stalks
A rich and deepening red. The willow tree
Is woolly. In deserted garden-walks
The lean bush crouching hints old royalty,
Feels some June stir in the sharp air and knows
Soon ’twill leap up and show the world a rose.

The days go out with shouting; nights are loud;
Wild, warring shapes the wood lifts in the cold;
The moon’s a sword of keen, barbaric gold,
Plunged to the hilt into a pitch black cloud.

This poem is in the public domain.


Lizette Woodworth Reese (1856 – 1935) was born in Maryland and remained in the Baltimore area her entire life. A small woman with a big personality, she was a school teacher for nearly fifty years and published more than a dozen books of mostly rhyming poetry based on memories and experiences from her rural childhood.  A prominent literary figure during the 1920s, she helped found the Woman's Literary Club of Baltimore and was Poet Laureate of Maryland in 1931. Once called "one of the greatest living women in America," Lizette has been compared to Emily Dickinson and Edna St. Vincent Millay and during her lifetime was a significant influence on younger women poets.



Post New Comment:
I like the way she turns a phrase. Nice poem!
Posted 03/13/2022 10:29 AM
Nature without remorse.
Posted 03/13/2022 10:23 AM
Gilbert Allen:
An elegant description of not-quite-spring.
Posted 03/13/2022 09:40 AM
Wilda Morris:
This expresses late March in northern Illinois very well!
Posted 03/13/2022 08:47 AM

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