In the spring I have counted one hundred and thirty-six different kinds of weather inside of twenty-four hours.I was going to use it to write a haibun, which is a prose piece that includes haiku. But, it turned into a little rhyming ditty.
--Mark Twain from "New England Weather," a speech delivered to the New England Society, December 22, 1876
The photo I found to illustrate my ditty, has Mark Twain looking out a window in 1903, possibly in New England on a spring day.
© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved. Photo courtesy Library of Congress.
In the spring I have counted one hundred and thirty-six different kinds of weather inside of twenty-four hours. --Mark Twain from a speech delivered to the New England Society, December 22, 1876
Mr. Twain Exaggerates
A wisp of mares' tails.
A bank of solid gray.
A breeze to tickle the hairs on an arm.
A wind to make flagpoles sway.
A mist to burn off in sunlight.
A torrent to wash frogs away.
A drip of sweat, a shiver of cold.
An average New England spring day.
I ended up writing a cherita to post on Michelle's TLD May padlet, because I actually did see something outside my back window (three rabbits). Michelle featured it on Wednesday (thanks, Michelle).
Today's Poetry Friday Round-Up is being hosted by Buffy's Blog.
Although I grew up in Massachusetts, I thought the "if you don't like the weather, wait a minute" was a Michigander phrase. People here seem to say it every minute! Love all the details in your response to Twain's exaggeration.ReplyDelete
I'm glad to know weather uncertainty is country-wide!Delete
Ha! The phrase is one that we say here in Colorado, too, Diane. I looked & it seems that other states have the same idea that it orginated there. What you've done, the Twain photo and the poem is so clever. I enjoyed every part!ReplyDelete
Glad, you like it, Linda!Delete
We say that about Ohio weather, too!ReplyDelete
LOVE that you found a photo of Mr. Twain looking out his window!!
There are many photos of Twain available. I own several postcards with his picture on them that I purchased at vintage postcard sales. I think Twain was an early adopter of the cult of self-promotion.Delete
Love your poem. The imagery is so clear and beautiful. It seems the weather is a theme this week. The crazy humidity inspired my poem.ReplyDelete
Today was the first really humid day we've had. No doubt we'll be having more!Delete
Love the vivid details in your poem. Great pic of Twain and love his quote! :)ReplyDelete
I'm a big Twain fan! (But not big enough to tackle his three volume autobiography! It's nearly 2,300 pages long!)Delete
Twain's wisdom about the weather spans all the way to the deep south; although, lately, not much changes. It's just hot.ReplyDelete
I love your little weather lines, especially the ones that throw a breeze to tickle my arm hairs.
It's too early to be too hot. I'm not sure how southerners survive it.Delete
Good for you for following Julie's instructions to write down what you see several days in a row! I remember that New England weather well, Diane, especially the arm hair tickling and frog torrent days. I can tell by Twain's expression, he agrees and gives your ditty his stamp of approval. :)ReplyDelete
I'd gladly accept his stamp of approval!Delete
Love your weather poem, Diane, and your rabbit cherita. Wonderful word choices in each.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Tabatha, I keep working at word choice. The words that aren't cliched, or, seem like I've been trying too hard.Delete
Delightful, Diane - and glad you listened to what wanted to be written! I guess a New England Spring is a lot like an Old England Spring.... I've only been there once, but it was in April, and we had about 136 kinds of weather....ReplyDelete
In my mind I see England in April like May in New England.Delete
Apparently, your response to the weather is a universal one--it sounds like Wisconsin, too! I love the contrast within each stanza and the internal rhyme of "mares" and "hairs."ReplyDelete
Ha! I didn't even notice the internal rhyme until you brought it to my attention!Delete
I love it all--Twain quote, picture and poem--all come together beautifully. And I'm sure that expression about sticking around if you don't like the weather describes the Midwest, too!ReplyDelete
That's a lovely ditty Diane, and it sure takes in wealth of change in the weather. I liked this line of yours, "A torrent to wash frogs away." Our weather here in Chicago can change very abruptly too, thanks!ReplyDelete
What a delightful post and I so enjoyed reading about how your poem evolved. Those unexpected journeys can be so rewarding. Thanks for sharing yours and your ditty as well. Great title!ReplyDelete