Poetry Sunday: May by Jonathan Galassi

May tiptoed into our lives last week, bringing with it the usual accompaniment of flowers and birds and butterflies. 

There is no shortage of poems about the month. It seems that it is a rare poet who hasn't been inspired by it in some way. Jonathan Galassi certainly was. I especially like his image of the ivy sending out red feelers in a spring reconnaissance campaign. That could describe the spring awakening of many plants.


by Jonathan Galassi

The backyard apple tree gets sad so soon,
takes on a used-up, feather-duster look
within a week.

The ivy’s spring reconnaissance campaign
sends red feelers out and up and down
to find the sun.

Ivy from last summer clogs the pool,
brewing a loamy, wormy, tea-leaf mulch
soft to the touch

and rank with interface of rut and rot.
The month after the month they say is cruel
is and is not.


  1. He sounds like he must be a gardener or at least a fellow who takes care of his yard.

    1. He's certainly someone who has taken the trouble to observe how plants "wake up" in the spring.

  2. Lovely! As you said, he is a good observer of nature.

    1. And good at expressing his observations poetically.


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