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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Summer (the season) (07/09/09)

TITLE: A SYMPHONY OF BUTTERCUPS
By Mariane Holbrook
07/11/09


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If it were given me to choose one season of the year
When everything I’d longed for would just suddenly appear,
I’d choose the warmth of summer with its pleasant, carefree days
When at an outdoor concert you’d hear Chopin’s Polonaise.

The dawn would break, the day announced by rooster’s raucous crow.
The teasing fragrance that I smell is Grandma’s biscuit dough.
I quickly dress in play clothes that befit my fourth grade frame
And slide the upstairs railing down as Grandma calls my name.

The yellow checkered tablecloth is set for just us four;
When Grandpa comes, he brings my cousin, Merle, whom I adore.
Forgetting all our manners, we chow down the eggs and ham
And smother grandma’s biscuits with her fresh blackberry jam.

I love this country kitchen with its woodstove standing tall.
A pail with sticks of kindling sits against the papered wall.
A bench holds pails of water, a blue dipper hangs above,
It seems that everywhere I look there’re signs of Grandma’s love.

This summer day we ride the wagon; Grandpa’s gathering hay.
We jump around so much that Grandpa sends us on our way.
The nearby barn’s our favorite place; it smells of milk and cats,
Of cows and leather, dried manure, tobacco juice and bats.

The newborn calf just makes us laugh; its mother stares and chews.
We’re careful where we walk because we seldom wear our shoes.
I love the smell of baby chicks and press them to my cheeks;
The pin pricks on my face are caused by tiny yellow beaks.

This summer day we spread a blanket ‘neath the apple tree.
Our grandma’s baking cookies; they’re molasses, we agree.
Inhaling the aroma, I chase down a butterfly;
A hummingbird intent on food, ignores us and flies by.

It seems that all my senses burst alive at summertime.
The fragrant honey suckle with its nectar so sublime.
The mating call of bullfrogs from the nearby fishing pond;
A meadow full of daisies you can see and far beyond.

I kiss the morning roses climbing there along the rail
And pick some yellow buttercups beside an old deer trail.
The bumblebees, the apple trees, the smell of new-mown hay
Take part in nature’s symphony: “A Perfect Summer Day.”


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This article has been read 866 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Charla Diehl 07/17/09
I could hear, smell, taste, and see all that's described in this perfectly delightful poem of bydone days. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.
Jim McWhinnie 07/18/09
Just simply charming, charming indeed ... you have a gift for taking a tight rhyming scheme and making it feel like free verse ... remarkable ...

I lived this line ..."This summer day we ride the wagon; Grandpa’s gathering hay.
We jump around so much that Grandpa sends us on our way."

Pure enjoyment.
Helen Dowd 07/19/09
What a lovely picture of a perfect summer day--that could also be a good title. Your description of all the things that go on on a farm setting was so...so nostalgic of times I spent at my uncle's farm, or the very faint memories of when I was a wee girl, up in Northern Alberta, before we moved so Dad could get work...And I LOVE buttercups. My husband says they are weeds, but if so, they are heavenly weeds. I loved this poem--the rhythm, the rhyme, the theme, the presentation--all of it...Helen
Catrina Bradley 07/20/09
You've made me homesick for summer days on the farm. Beautifully described, elegantly written.
Chely Roach07/20/09
Captivating and a delight to my senses. Wonderful.
Jan Ackerson 07/22/09
Wonderful--like something I'd read in "Ideals" magazine.
Christina Banks 07/22/09
Wonderful! You really captured summer with this poem!
Patricia Herchenroether07/22/09
This started out nicely, got better, and better. I want to go back there. Lovely.
Carol Slider 07/22/09
You bring summer to life so well with this lovely, evocative poem. I enjoyed reading this!
Stephanie Craig07/22/09
Wonderful. I'm am not a big poetry fan, because I can't understand it, but I understood this one. You brought great summer memories to my mind.
Sara Harricharan 07/22/09
Ohhh, lovely. And I especially like your title, it fits this piece so very well!
Karlene Jacobsen 07/22/09
I'd sure love to visit this grandparents' home. Sounds so incredibly fun. This would make summer my favorite too.
Steve Fitschen 07/22/09
I don't know that a young child would be familiar with Chopin's Polonaise (but maybe that was just a deficiency with my childhood). But other than that, I thought the fourth grader's voice was just right.
Mariane Holbrook07/22/09
Steve, there are children's arrangements of Chopin's Polonaise. There are also summer concerts where children perform this number brilliantly. Here is one of many on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fSy5AKzb2EU&feature=related
(Unfortunately, I wasn't one who performed this number,(*grin*) but many other children have, which made them good summer concert performers for other kids who were out of school and could be inspired by them. Thanks for your comment! I appreciate it. :-)
Betty Castleberry07/23/09
Congratulations on placing with this charming poem. I love the nostalgia and love the warm fuzzies it give me, too. Two thumbs up!
Shirley McClay 07/23/09
Awww.... I miss my Grandparents now. Congratulations on your EC! This poem is really beatuful!
Mona Purvis07/23/09
Just splendid! The MC's voice is just right. I really love this piece so very much.
Mona
Rita Garcia07/23/09
CONGRATULATIONS! You warmed my heart, I, too, love the summer months.
Edy T Johnson 07/23/09
Oh Mariane, you paint the most wonderful word pictures. It's obvious you are an artist as well as a wordsmith. And, I love your heavenly vision of summer (minus the simmering heat and bug bites that come with living under the curse of sin and death, one reason Autumn and even Winter are among my more-favorite seasons, ha!). Congratulations on your win, too!
Connie Dixon07/23/09
I loved, loved, loved this. It's perfect...so deserving of an editor's choice award. You really outdid yourself with this. Congratulations. (I love summer and this is just so...summery :o)
Lynda Schultz 07/23/09
This sent me back in longing for those summer vacations on the farm. Well done.
Diana Dart 07/24/09
Gorgeous - the smells, the flowers, the feelings under my bare feet. I love it! Congrats, this poem is truly a winner.
Patricia Turner07/24/09
The voice in this poem is as charming as the picture it paints. What a wonderful job! Congratulations!
Linda Watson Owen07/25/09
Oh Mariane! What a delight! You've taken me on a trip back in time to visiting my 'substitute' grandparents on their Hoosier farm so many years ago. No wonder you placed in editors' choice with this wonderful piece! Congratulations. This poem
is precious and powerful in the most heartwarming way.