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Good day, and welcome to the Poetry Friday roundup.* I hope that if you're participating this week, you'll leave a link in Mr. Linky, below.

Today is leap day. First, a leaping sort of poem from Wordsworth:

"My heart leaps up when I behold"
by William Wordsworth

My heart leaps up when I behold
  A rainbow in the sky:
So was it when my life began,
So is it now I am a man,
So be it when I shall grow old
  Or let me die!
The child is father of the man:
And I could wish my days to be
Bound each to each by natural piety.

The poem is a single stanza containing nine lines, and follows the rhyme scheme ABCCABCDD. It's composed of iambic feet, the number of which vary in different lines. Lines 1,3,4,5,7&8 have four iambic feet each, for a total of eight syllables. Line 2 has three iambs (six syllables); Line 6 has two iambs (four syllables); and the last line is in iambic pentameter (five feet, ten syllables).

The differences in line length create a variation in the weight of the lines. The 6 "regular" lines are set-ups for payoffs in the three irregular ones, so that the rainbow gets a bit more attention by being in a shorter line, and the (melo)dramatic "Or let me die!" gets lots of space and weight by virtue of it's shortness, it's indentation, and it's punctuation. The last line, with its extra foot, slows the ending down, echoing the notion of the passage of time and the seriousness of his closing statement: "And I could wish my days to be/ bound each to each by natural piety."

And now, for a word about February, which, despite its actual length, usually feels like the longest month of the year to me. One of my favorite songs by singer-songwriter Dar Williams (and I have several**), is "February", from the Mortal City album. I love it for its melody and the achingly beautiful cello part on the studio recording and its lyrics, part of which are:

And February was so long that it lasted into March
And found us walking a path alone together.
You stopped and pointed and you said, "That's a crocus,"
And I said, "What's a crocus?" and you said, "It's a flower,"
I tried to remember, but I said, "What's a flower?"
You said, "I still love you."

You can see her perform it solo, just her and her guitar, here:

*Posted early because damn! folks have been turning up before midnight lately for Poetry Friday posts.

**Other favorites: "When I Was a Boy", "As Cool as I Am", and "The Beauty of the Rain"

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( 76 comments — Leave a comment )
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Feb. 29th, 2008 02:20 am (UTC)
Oh, I love Wordsworth (my favorite poet) -- and very appropriate, I thought, to do the Leap Day post a little early ;)
Feb. 29th, 2008 01:34 pm (UTC)
My hubby had surgery on Weds, and I had to drive to Baltimore and back yesterday to claim him, so I knew I'd be too tired to stay up and get it up at midnight, and I didn't want there to be no welcoming post since I'm also not an early-morning person. I have to set the alarm to get up before about 9 (which I do on schooldays only), so I knew it was early or not until, like, now.
(no subject) - robinellen - Feb. 29th, 2008 03:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kellyrfineman - Feb. 29th, 2008 03:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 29th, 2008 02:36 am (UTC)
People DO show up early to the party! Makes it even more fun :)

But, seriously? February? Has outstayed its welcome. Still, I'm glad for the one more day because I might finish the Feb Forest in February. Back to editing...Thanks for hosting!!
Feb. 29th, 2008 01:36 pm (UTC)
The stanza before the one I quoted:

You know I think Christmas was a long red glare,
Shot up like a warning, we gave presents without cards,
And then the snow,
And then the snow came, we were always out shoveling,
And we'd drop to sleep exhausted,
Then we'd wake up, and it's snowing.
Feb. 29th, 2008 03:24 am (UTC)
Some weeks, I'm scrambling with my Poetry Friday post, but today, I'm not, so I'm taking advantage of your link early offer. Yay!

I found a poem with a leap in it, too, but the leaping doesn't come until almost the end. It's a beautiful poem I'd never seen before by Barbara Ras, called "You Can't Have It All." Well, maybe YOU can, because everybody will be delivering it all right here. Thanks for hosting and I hope you get what you want. :)
Feb. 29th, 2008 01:37 pm (UTC)
I frequently compose and post on the same day, including Poetry Friday posts, and I've been alarmed recently that even if I get a post up by 8:30 or so, I'm in the 20s - it makes me feel like I must be sluggish, or a slacker, since so many early birds hit the board!
Feb. 29th, 2008 08:10 am (UTC)
I'm up with an original Leap Day poem....

Leap Day Baby

And thanks for hosting!
Feb. 29th, 2008 01:16 pm (UTC)
An original poem from Greg? How awesome!!
Feb. 29th, 2008 09:05 am (UTC)
Leapin lizards--it's already Friday--Yay! Thanks for your Leap Day post and for leaping up to host. :)
Feb. 29th, 2008 01:40 pm (UTC)
I just read a review copy of a book called A Crossing of Zebras: Animal Packs in Poetry by Marjorie Maddox, and she has one called "A Leap of Leopards". The phrase "leapin' lizards" naturally brought it to mind and having no real filter, I felt compelled to share just now.
(no subject) - christy_lenzi - Mar. 1st, 2008 05:58 am (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 29th, 2008 09:14 am (UTC)
Try not to die of a shock...
Because I'm in this week !!

Michele (Scholar's Blog)
Feb. 29th, 2008 01:15 pm (UTC)
Re: Try not to die of a shock...
HUZZAH! It's Michele!!!!
Feb. 29th, 2008 10:46 am (UTC)
Thanks for hosting
I'm in with a poem about the leap year.

Thank you for doing the round-up today,
Feb. 29th, 2008 01:40 pm (UTC)
Re: Thanks for hosting
Can't wait to read the leap day poem!
Feb. 29th, 2008 11:10 am (UTC)
Miss Rumphius Says
Hi Kelly!
I for one will be glad when February is over. I have spring on my mind and am in today with An Early Bluebird.

Thanks for rounding us up!
Feb. 29th, 2008 01:41 pm (UTC)
Re: Miss Rumphius Says
I wish we had bluebirds here. My friend has them near her house (about an hour away) and they are gorgeous!
Feb. 29th, 2008 11:13 am (UTC)
Thanks for the rainbow and the crocuses. I'm SO ready for spring!

Thanks also for hosting today. Should be a fun roundup!

Mary Lee
A Year of Reading
Feb. 29th, 2008 01:41 pm (UTC)
I can't wait to see what everyone comes up with!
Feb. 29th, 2008 12:05 pm (UTC)
Late last night,some Brownies made some brownies, just to celebrate Leap Day! I'm all about Palmer Cox; thanks for hosting, Kelly!
Feb. 29th, 2008 12:10 pm (UTC)
TadMack says:
Ach, and I thought January was a long month. It's just all long, at this point. The wind today is gusting at 45 mph and the lights keep blinking. Want to just curl up and read...

I'm in with a poem about STUFF. Thanks for hosting, Kelly.
Feb. 29th, 2008 01:45 pm (UTC)
Re: TadMack says:
You are so Scottish these days - you even said "ach!" It's so easy for me to romanticize you over there in the weather and the dark, but I'm sure that some days it's just cold and dreary. Still, I hope you remind yourself where you are and how very awesome the experience sounds to those of us in suburban New Jersey.
Feb. 29th, 2008 12:13 pm (UTC)
My link doesn't seem to be working, even after 2 tries. Here's the URL: http://jamarattigan.livejournal.com/78788.html. Wonder if those Brownies are causing mischief!
Feb. 29th, 2008 01:44 pm (UTC)
Dude - no clue what happened. I went in, deleted both of your links (neither of which worked), and then entered you myself. Et voilà!
(no subject) - jamarattigan - Feb. 29th, 2008 03:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 29th, 2008 12:25 pm (UTC)
Mine is a poem about endings of days, but it works for ending the week or month too... THank you for hosting, and for these poems.
Feb. 29th, 2008 01:46 pm (UTC)
You are very welcome. Dar Williams's song is really something, I think, and I'd hoped to share all the lyrics but couldn't get an answer about permissions. *sigh*
Feb. 29th, 2008 01:03 pm (UTC)
Karen Edmisten wrote:
I'm in this week with an original little haiku bidding February adieu. And, I might add, good riddance. :-) Loved your Wordsworth, and that Dar Williams song is hauntingly lovely.
Feb. 29th, 2008 01:47 pm (UTC)
Re: Karen Edmisten wrote:
"Hauntingly lovely" is just what I think, too. And your haiku/adieu rhyme just there made me smile!
Feb. 29th, 2008 01:06 pm (UTC)
Poetry Friday
Elaine M.

At Wild Rose Reader, I have a special post for The Year of the Frog. I have an original "froggy" poem and brief reviews of poetry books and books in verse about frogs and toads.

At Blue Rose Girls, I have a poem by Sherman Alexie entitled "The Powwow at the End of the World."
Feb. 29th, 2008 01:47 pm (UTC)
Re: Poetry Friday
Excellent choices, Elaine!
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