cricketmuse

a writer's journey as a reader

Poet Appreciate #1: Willa Cather


English: grass at , located on west side of ju...

Nebraska-Kansas prairie (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Most recognize Willa Cather as a writer of prairie prose; however, before O Pioneers! came out in 1913, she had published a book of poems entitled April Twilights in 1903. The following poem from that book of poetry served as the prologue to O Pioneers!

Prairie Spring
by Willa Cather

Evening and the flat land,
Rich and sombre and always silent;
The miles of fresh-plowed soil,
Heavy and black, full of strength and harshness;
The growing wheat, the growing weeds,
The toiling horses, the tired men;
The long empty roads,
Sullen fires of sunset, fading,
The eternal, unresponsive sky.
Against all this, Youth,
Flaming like the wild roses,
Singing like the larks over the plowed fields,
Flashing like a star out of the twilight;
Youth with its insupportable sweetness,
Its fierce necessity,
Its sharp desire,
Singing and singing,
Out of the lips of silence,
Out of the earthy dusk.

Cather announces the coming of spring through abounding sensory imagery and metaphors. This poem encapsulates her mastery of description and exemplifies her love of the prairie. Where she found poetry in a land, many only found hardship and heartaches as they tried to subdue tangled, tawny grasses under their plow.

Portrait of Willa Cather

Portrait of Willa Cather (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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4 thoughts on “Poet Appreciate #1: Willa Cather

  1. Crooked Tracks on said:

    Willa Cather is one of my favorite authors.

  2. I love Willa Cather. Her books tell the real story about our country’s history.

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