From October 12, 2020 through November 12, 2020, we asked the communities we serve to participate in a contest that we titled “Why You Love the Northeast Life” for a chance to win $500. We asked a variety of questions about what is special about living in the Northeast and received many wonderful entries.
One submission in particular caught our eye. Pamela Frankel, one of our winners courageously shared for the first time publicly an original poem she wrote in 2004 about New England, called “The Sprouting of Spring in New England”. For her thoughtful submission, we reached out to Pamela to inquire if we could share her poem. She graciously accepted.
Pamela is in the process of publishing her work. She is also currently writing and illustrating eight children’s books.
The Sprouting of Spring in New England
By Pamela Ann Frankel, 2004
With a pard’ning of winter on spring’s thawing ground,
There was a stirring of life waking up all around;
White snow geese with silver-blue wings stream the sky,
But pheasants, fowl and young parade proudly by.
White clapboard houses are no longer hidden,
Under winter’s white snow & melting frost chagrin;
Green canopies instead begin to take over,
The bare branches of birch and maple from here to Dover.
Kites soar high and compete with flags flapping on poles,
As Frog Hollow Pond has dancing and leaping tadpoles;
Willow Tree Farm gathers hay for its horses,
While hills have daisies and daffodils sprouting up mighty forces.
At old Farnworth’s orchards, still farmed by horse power,
Are apple trees budding their new white-cupped flower;
The plushness of May shall fill windy hollow,*
The blueberry patches along lakes shall follow.*
It’s a time to start painting white picket fences,
And mend old tattered barns from winter’s offenses;
To tidy flowerbeds with pine scented mulch,
Just take heed of the black fly at all chance approach.
Even with the passing of a short, deep blue storm,
Cranberry vines are showing their beads in uniform;
And fiddleheads sprout their violin handles,
While sills in windows still flicker with candles.
Along the shores can be heard the call of seagulls and plover,
And inland the sweep of wind through milkweed and clover;
Lupines spread over hillsides their lavender veil,
But alas, there’s still room for ragweed to prevail!
Stillness only comes with the surrender of sunrise,
To the moonlit valleys, hills, and caterpillars’ surmise;
And tucked under quilts over old creaky floors,
All children, alike, submit to night’s crestfallen doors.
At last, an old woman with spirited power,
Pulls on the rope to ring the church bell from a tower,
Which sounds even more during this spring season’s call,
As weddings unwind and square dances curtsy to all.
For those who glide with a flock or alone ponder,
It is a wonder for all and for all to wonder,
How the sprouting of spring in New England is all around,
Whether on hills or valleys, or in streams where trout abound.
*The rhythm of the poem as a whole was inspired by a poem found in a hymn book called, “In Sweet Fields of Autumn,” written by Elizabeth Madison in 1883. These two endings of phrases, in bold, were used from that poem.