The Poetry of Ellin Anderson


Ellin Anderson

I sat beside a pear-tree for an hour
And watched the petals glide
Around me, like confetti in a shower
Designed for one who'd never been a bride.
I was not idle, but spun out my thread
Of words, while robins fluttered overhead.
Poems were the webs I wove,
And while the robins did not weave a nest
Within the snowy pear,
But went to build elsewhere,
Leaving the birdhouse empty and unblessed,
They shook the white pear-petals as they flew,
And added to
That gentle hail
My spiral veil,
Stopping a while to watch me and to rest
Among the blossoms in an orchard grove.

Pear-blossoms have a scent like sugared fruit,
Or else a scent like flesh
And, as the robin adds his solo flute
To the soft music of a day no longer fresh,
I think about a story that I heard
The legend of a pear tree and a bird:
Once, a mighty goddess chaste or loving, as she chose
Loved a young Athenian boy
Who became her sacred king:
A symbol of that noble city,
Married to its deity
For just one year, or so the story goes.
And it was Athens' cruel command to fling
The city's chosen son
From the topmost temple wall
To die, upon the day his time was done.
The goddess was Athena, and from pity
For her former toy,
She did not let him fall,
But caught the crying youth in flight,
And he flew up to the light
Of shining Mount Olympus, home of joy,
Changed into a partridge, lest
Gratitude make him a pest.
There, he perches in her favorite tree,
Pet of the gods for all eternity.
Why do I like this tale so well
And, why should it weave a spell
For making poems a charm
On an old New Hampshire farm?
I do not know.
Meanwhile, the robins come and go;
The petals fall.

2008 by Ellin Anderson. All rights reserved.
No part of this work may be copied or used in any way
without written permission from the author.

St. Patrick's Day
Tiger and Blue Jewel

Winter's Hill
Maple-Key Song
November in Camelot

Wassail Song
The Rooster at Midsummer
Liberty Enlightens the People

The Leap
The Goldfinch
Three Bears
Song of the Lily
White Tree at Twilight
The Christmas Tree

Grand Bois du Nord
The Owl
Moth Summer
The Little God of Joy
Photographing the Moon
A Rabbit
Rose, Do You Know
The Two Pining Bachelors

The Harvest Chorus
The Maple Mask
Ghost Cardinal

The Little Heath-Rose
The Sorcerer's Apprentice
Song for the Harp

The Spinner
The Prayer of Cephalus
Circe and Ulysses
The Black Arts
Tristan and Isolde & Jupiter's Two Casks

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More Poems by Ellin Anderson

The Little Mermaid
Anne's Hearth