Cold Spring Sonnet


The next day
was much warmer.
– Elizabeth Bishop

A golden finch is singing rain in notes
That fall in desperate distances of cloud –
The agony of rust that sounds a gate’s
Intransigent articulation. Wood
And field are cropping frozen fog and hold
Their tongues to seek relief from winter’s chafe.
This March is hard and time is growing old
While April strives to dream the fallen leaf.

The snow dispersed beneath a chilling rain
Is pocking furrows, mocking shadows’ claims
To death and night and all that draws a line
In time – what ties to stone our names
And dates – what pulls at earth with rusty cry
And rips the frozen hinges off the sky.


  1. That was a good poem. Thanks.

  2. Jonathan Potter says

    I love that last image — “rips the frozen hinges off the sky” — yes! — but I’m confused about who or what is doing the ripping. Time?

  3. Potter,

    thanks – it came all of a sudden – like a spring snowstorm…

    To answer your query:

    “death and night and all that draws a line
    In time…”

    Does that help?


    • Jonathan Potter says

      I think I got it. I love that the doors don’t just open, they’re not even merely ripped off their hinges, but the hinges themselves are completely and exuberant-violently ripped off. Death draws the line, but so does resurrection — and then obliterates it.

  4. Angelico Nguyen, Esq., OP says

    To death and night and all that draws a line/In time […]

    A nicely broken line, sir!

    • We be enjambing – enjambing
      We’re enjambing

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