by Michael R. Burch
Here the recalcitrant wind
sighs with grievance and remorse
over fields of wayward gorse
and thistle-throttled lanes.
And she is the myth of the scythed wheat
hewn and sighing, complete,
waiting, lain in a low sheaf—
full of faith, full of grief.
Here the immaculate dawn
requires belief of the leafed earth
and she is the myth of the mown grain—
golden and humble in all its weary worth.
I believe I wrote the first version of this poem toward the end of my senior year of high school, around age 18 in late 1976. To my recollection this is my only poem directly influenced by the “sprung rhythm” of Dylan Thomas (moreso than that of Gerard Manley Hopkins). But I was not happy with the fourth line and put the poem aside for more than 20 years, until 1998, when I revised it. But I was still not happy with the fourth line, so I put it aside and revised it again in 2020, nearly half a century after originally writing the poem! Keywords/Tags: sprung, rhythm, myth, gorse, thistles, wheat, mown, grain, sheaf, faith, grief, golden, humble