- Homes, A. M. [Amy Michael]
Do Not Disturb
McSweeney's, New York, 2001, Illustrated Wraps, , , Fine
33 pp. A separately bound book from McSweeney's 7. 'My wife the doctor, is not well. In the end she could be dead. It started suddenly, on a country weekend, a movie with friends, a pizza, and then pain.' Author of Jack; The Safety of Objects; In a Country of Mothers; The End of Alice; Appendix A (Supplemental material for The End of Alice); Music For Torching; Things You Should Know; Los Angeles: People, Places, and the Castle on the Hill; and This Book Will Save Your Life.
THE VOICES OF SPRING. SESTINA.
Why is it that the voices of the spring, The bluebird’s note, the redbreast’s mellow call, The sweet, sweet carols which the sparrows sing, The peeping of the frogs at evening’s fall, These vague regrets and homesick longings bring To hearts which listen for and love them all? All hearts rejoice when winter goesand all Are glad to welcome back the tardy spring; To hear the woods responding to the call Which, rough and blustering, the March winds sing, To mark the shower’s blossom-waking fall, And the slight changes which the slow days bring. And yet, the first soft days are sure to bring A tender sadness with their joy, to all For with the new growth, buried memories spring As once of old at dread enchantment’s call, The dead arose and spake; how can we sing Or smile, when tears well up, and fain would fall? Even the lark’s voice has a mournful fall His lovely golden breast, that seems to bring The sunshine with it, and the warmth, and all That makes and glorifies the gracious spring, Is burdened with that long despairing call For one he seeks in vain,how can he sing? We think of strains which hope was wont to sing In youth’s sweet Eden-land, before the fall Did to our souls time’s bitter wisdom bring And hush the angel-voices one and all; Yet we remember them, and every spring Catch far and faint the echo of their call. Never does summer-time or autumn call The same soft sadness back; the birds may sing, Flowers fade, and ripe October’s foliage fall, Yet not the same strange melancholy bring; It is the saddest season of them all, The weeping, haunted, unforgetful spring! Ah, lovely spring! though mating bluebirds call, And redbreasts sing, and sparrows song-showers fall, Thy soft hours bring the same sweet pain to all!Elizabeth Akers Allen [1832-1911]