Sandy Shreve
Paintings, Photo Art, Poetry

Blog - Wednesday Poems

(posted on 8 May 2024)


Today’s poem comes from my book, Suddenly, So Much (Exile Editions);
the accompanying image is my painting, Watering Can (mixed media).


Appalachian Spring (Aaron Copland, 1944)


Because the wars are not over yet, and yet

these notes unfold



and bud in the sun     because this

is what comes of bowing strings and breathing


into reeds and what breaks

the sky

                is dawn not bombs because


a ballet begins with a long sliver of sound

the piano


                    laughs, woodwinds scamper in the grass

with violins my fingers

                                             sprout green shoots


and my shuttered heart           opens



Copland’s Appalachian Spring is one of my favourite
pieces of music, and I play it often at this time of year.
Originally composed to accompany the ballet
choreographed by Martha Graham, Copland later
arranged it as an orchestral suite.  Created near the end
of WW II, the ballet celebrates the marriage of a young
frontier couple looking ahead to a promising future.