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Kevin Alfred Strom Archive


Four Poems
A Second Spring

America's most eloquent poet offers her perspectives on spring.

American Dissident Voices broadcast
April 14, 2005
by Kevin Alfred Strom

Ellin Anderson gives us a glimpse seldom seen of spring: the new forms swelling in effulgent life as the old forms die -- and die necessarily; a paen to the living spirit behind the iconic figures of Old -- and New -- Europa; and the surging liberation that New Generations will bring to the Eternal Task in this darkling time.

Read. Read again. And understand. -- K.A.S.


by Ellin Anderson

Shadowed by a sunless wood
Where loveliness should never grow,
Your branches spilled their starry foam
Like unexpected fall of snow.
A white spire singing of maidenhood
Beside a dead or dying tree
Shed quicksilver blossoms that trapped the light,
Kindling the thicket beneath the dome
Of the slow-descending, star-heavy night --
And hope soared up like a litany.


by Ellin Anderson

Loving the land where you were born,
I pray my watering eyes will thaw
This shivering spring, with its cold rain,
And fix a curse on the alien law
That spikes the blossom upon the thorn,
Fearing what harm my heart may do
In sowing sorrow beside the grain,
And hating the soil that has hidden you.


by Ellin Anderson


Rose, do you know your jade-green thorn
Finds gentle hands and leaves them torn?

Bee, do you know your velvet coat
Hides venom that can close a throat?

Rain, do you know your silver sound
Tolls out the years of those you've drowned?

And nightshade, do you know your breath
Weaves incense through the hush of death?


Whatever pangs your hands enfold,
Think of the beauty you behold.

If every thief was left to thrive,
No honeycomb would feed the hive.

The torrent drowns a heart's wild beat
And summer's burdens, drought and heat.

A beam falls on the prison floor:
My tender stems have forced the door.


by Ellin Anderson

He set his hammer to the chain of gold,
And sent its makers shrieking from the light.
The links and shackles that the legions hold
Were cobwebs on the strength of what is right,

And through the glowing shadows of that cave,
The ancient forge sent out no greater spark
Than gaze of azure that transcends the grave,
And draws cold steel from dwellers in the dark.

Song in the blood that fetters cannot bind,
Say that he labors on! lest we forget
Time cannot touch the metal of his kind
That dares the brave to say, without regret:

"Make me your sword -- a hammer to the foe --
To ring in glory, knowing what you know!"


More works by Ellin Anderson

Ellin Anderson's home page

Vermont poet Ellin Anderson (pictured) has won many awards for poetry in the United States, Canada, and Great Britain. A lifelong resident of New England, she was born in Boston on April 18, 1958, graduated from The Pingree School in 1976, and received a B.A. in Art from Mount Holyoke College in 1982. Anderson has been published in The Longfellow Society Journal, The Boston Poet, Mediums, Pleiades/ArtsNorth, and Orbis. She created and produced "Poetry With Ellin Anderson," a weekly radio show on WNBP (Newburyport), which was sponsored by World Learning Incorporated and the Summer Abroad Program.

Anderson is a member of the Longfellow Poetry Society, which meets at Longfellow's Wayside Inn in Sudbury, Massachusetts. She has received praise for her work from Massachusetts poet X. J. Kennedy, who comments: "Ellin Anderson has a keen sense of the past, yet at the same time can be triumphantly contemporary. Her skill and resourcefulness delight." -- Ed.



Source: National Vanguard

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