Friday, May 5, 2017

Poetry Friday: Things to Do If . . .

The challenge this month was to write a "Things to Do If...." poem on the theme of a season or month. Didn't have to be May, but...

May is fabulous, you know? I found out it used to be called primilce, which literally means “three milkings” because it was the only month of the year when cows could be milked three times per day.

Also, May contains Star Wars Day. (May the 4th be with you)

And of course, there is dancing.  Perhaps that's why this poem waltzed in:

Things to Do if You’re May

Step plainly, for you host no equinox
or solstice; only ordinary time embrocated
by commencements and commendations, yet

Turn assuredly, for late,
you sweeten Spring; early,
you swell Summer; but more:

Partner boldly, for you have but three
letters to your name, and rhyme
with each and every day; thus

Madden us, May; make us
heated to go ‘round again,
staggered with singing.

             ----Sara Lewis Holmes (all rights reserved)

My Poetry Sisters' "Things to Do If..." poems are here:

Laura (who chose this challenge!)

Poetry Friday is hosted today by the incomparable Jama at Alphabet Soup:


  1. Beautiful celebration of May. How academic to think of May in terms of commencements and commendations. For me, it's the triumvirate of birthday, Mother's Day and anniversary. Might have liked those spread out a bit, but life is like that, squashed, jammed and stuffed tight.

  2. Gorgeous poem, Sara! Love how you captured the spirit and beauty of the month. This might be the first poem I've come across containing the word "embrocated." Thanks for expanding my vocabulary. :) Dance on!

  3. I think the first two words of the poem set the tone for me; I imagine this as a rather formal dance which begins so beautifully (the hesitation step everyone slaughters at commencement is a kind of studied dance), and then spins into something less orderly and more sensual as everything, weather wise, ahem, heats up, and shoes are kicked off, and the heavy formality of blossoms slough off into fruit.

    I love this so much.

  4. I love how May dances through your poem. It's quite a celebration of ordinary time.

  5. "Staggered with singing" is so swoony-good. I really keep gasping at it.

  6. oooooooooooooh, those line breaks are lovely and dramatic....and totally deserving of framing May.

  7. This May baby loved your May poem. Wonderful! :-) Christie @

  8. How can you not love a month that let's you wave your Star Wars nerd flag at work?! :-)

  9. Embrocated=vocabwow. And all the things you highlighted about May that I've never considered: its lack of equinox, its rhyme-ability, how its start time dominoes all the other seasons...

  10. This is so lovely, Sara--especially the romantic language. That final stanza is so wonderful!

  11. I love "staggered with singing."


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