Forsythia Redux

ConnerToday’s post is a tribute. First of all, it’s a continuation of yesterday’s post in which I promised TC Conner an original poem in his honor. Unlike me, TC appears to be quite a well-versed gardener. (How’s that for a double-entendre, TC?) Thinking about the back and forth comments on yesterday’s post, as I went about creating a new poem, I found it hard to veer away from (1) TC’s interest and (2) what’s foremost in my mind right now … the burgeoning Spring.

I’ve mentioned before my own love/hate relationship with gardening. For many years, my stated goal was simply to be the recipient of other people’s surplus … being a recipient served producers by encouraging them to dispose of their overflow without having to throw it into the compost or garbage pile! (I was helping them.) Am I right, gardeners?

Somehow over the years, though, I’ve still managed to learn snippets about various plants. (It’s easier for me to collect information than to apply that information in the dirt.) Information about the Forsythia plant is a case in point.

As one of the first plants to emerge in the Spring, the Forsythia’s yellow petals are what come out first. Eventually, the green leaves follow, but I think it’s fascinating the yellow leaves are so anxious to debut … kind of like an excited child who can’t wait until Christmas Day to open presents!

Oftentimes, in my part of the country, the Daffodils and Forsythia will raise their bright yellow petals on the first moderately warm day, even when Spring might be several weeks away. What amuses me is how often a sudden snow paints the landscape white, but the yellow petals from both plants stand out against the white snow.

My free verse poem for TC develops the same thought as yesterday’s Cinquain. (Because the Cinquain form has obvious limitations, I wanted to use the same idea but employ free verse this time, so I could further develop the theme. Today’s poem is definitely more complete than yesterday’s.)

ASIDE:  I burned up the highway today traveling to and from the Rock (Little Rock). The 200+ mile trip showed me that Spring is already blooming down there. The Dogwood trees (one of my favorites) are beginning to flower, but not yet filled with the beauty they’ll soon have. It amazes me the differences are so distinct even though we’re not that much farther north than Little Rock.

TC, here’s your poem and I hope you share my appreciation for the Forsythia!

Spring-Retreat, forsythia, light verse, poetry, poem
Poem: Spring Retreat


Now I want to mention the examples of poetry that were shared on yesterday’s post in the comments section. TC stepped right up and put together a nice Cinquain! Bravo! He also demonstrated the form is easily adaptable to almost any expression, given a little thought. Thanks TC for being a quick study and an excellent sport!

Further, ah, yes, Doobster418 dragged his feet a bit. (For those of you who know Doob, is this anything new?) But then, he showed his true colors (Phantom Poet)! His effort at crafting a Cinquain quite surpassed his earlier effort at the Limerick! I have high hopes for you, Doobster, because you’ve proven you’re also a quick study … and lots of fun to boot. Thanks for giving me so many laughs the last couple days!

I can’t end this post without a comment on the word Forsooth. I’m going to agree with Doobster that poetry often contains words and images (failed images, in my view) that create barriers and discourage readers. This is a legitimate argument against a large portion of poetry. I also agree with Doobster that the point of poetry should be communication and should not be to conceal or obscure.

The perfect illustration is Doobster’s cinquain. He used the word Forsooth, but then he made a great point:  plain-spoken speech (or writing) usually communicates much more effectively! Indeed!

All of us who are writers are attempting to communicate; we have to ask ourselves everyday whether we’re communicating effectively or not. When crafting a poem, I want the form and word usage to be beautiful, but if I sacrifice meaning, what good is it? We can all learn from Doobster’s observations, and in the process, vastly improve our communication.

But honestly, methinks Forsooth is a superb complement for Forsythia. Will you at least give me that, Doobster?

3 thoughts on “Forsythia Redux

  1. I have a very special forsythia here in my western PA garden, one I transplanted many years ago from my mother’s garden in Kentucky. She was laid to rest two years ago this coming July. But part of her lives on within that forsythia. Spring shows us there is rebirth, even after death. “Forsythia, forsooth!”

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