Is it possible that spring could be
once more approaching? We forget each time
what a mindless business it is, porous like sleep,
adrift on the horizon, refusing to take sides, "mugwump
of the final hour," lest an agenda—horrors!—be imputed to it,
and the whole point of its being spring collapse
like a hole dug in sand. It's breathy, though,
you have to say that for it.
And should further seasons coagulate
into years, like spilled, dried paint, why,
who's to say we weren't provident? We indeed
looked out for others as though they mattered, and they,
catching the spirit, came home with us, spent the night
in an alcove from which their breathing could be heard clearly.
But it's not over yet. Terrible incidents happen
daily. That's how we get around obstacles.
 
From Planisphere by John Ashbery. Copyright © 2010 by John Ashbery. Used by permission of Ecco/HarperCollins. All rights reserved.

Poems by This Author

At North Farm by John Ashbery
Bells II by John Ashbery
For just as a misunderstanding germinates
Daffy Duck In Hollywood by John Ashbery
Something strange is creeping across me.
Elective Infinities by John Ashbery
Thirsty? They race across ampersands
Farm Implements and Rutabagas in a Landscape by John Ashbery
The first of the undecoded messages read: "Popeye sits in thunder,
For John Clare by John Ashbery
Kind of empty in the way it sees everything, the earth gets to its
Instead of Losing by John Ashbery
Anyone, growing up in a space you hadn't used yet
Into the Dusk-Charged Air by John Ashbery
Far from the Rappahannock, the silent
Love in Boots by John Ashbery
Our first assignment was to make a square
Meaningful Love by John Ashbery
What the bad news was
Mottled Tuesday by John Ashbery
Something was about to go laughably wrong
My Philosophy of Life by John Ashbery
Just when I thought there wasn't room enough
Robin Hood's Barn by John Ashbery
Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror [MS excerpt] by John Ashbery
Some Trees by John Ashbery
These are amazing: each
Syringa by John Ashbery
Orpheus liked the glad personal quality
The New Higher by John Ashbery
You meant more than life to me. I lived through
The Plural of Jack-in-the-Box by John Ashbery
How quiet the diversion stands


Further Reading

Related Poems
Incident on the Road to the Capital
by Dara Wier
Spring
Endymion, Book I, [A thing of beauty is a joy for ever]
by John Keats
The Winter's Tale Act IV, Scene II [When daffodils begin to peer]
by William Shakespeare
A Blessing
by James Wright
After dark vapors have oppress'd our plains
by John Keats
Another Attempt at Rescue
by M. L. Smoker
Birds Again
by Jim Harrison
Black Petal
by Li-Young Lee
Butterfly Catcher
by Tina Cane
Chansons Innocentes: I
by E. E. Cummings
City That Does Not Sleep
by Federico García Lorca
Diary [Surface]
by Rachel Zucker
Each year
by Dora Malech
From you have I been absent in the spring... (Sonnet 98)
by William Shakespeare
Hustlers with Bad Timing
by D. A. Powell
If a Wilderness
by Carl Phillips
In cold spring air
by Reginald Gibbons
In the Memphis Airport
by Timothy Steele
Lines Written in Early Spring
by William Wordsworth
Magdalen Walks
by Oscar Wilde
Morning News
by Marilyn Hacker
National Poetry Month
by Elaine Equi
Papyrus
by Ezra Pound
Prologue of the Earthly Paradise
by William Morris
Song On May Morning
by John Milton
Spring
by Edna St. Vincent Millay
Spring
by Gerard Manley Hopkins
Spring and All [By the road to the contagious hospital]
by William Carlos Williams
Spring Day [Bath]
by Amy Lowell
Spring in New Hampshire
by Claude McKay
Spring is like a perhaps hand
by E. E. Cummings
spring love noise and all [excerpt]
by David Antin
Spring Snow
by Arthur Sze
Spring Song
by Sherwood Anderson
Spring Storm
by William Carlos Williams
Springing
by Marie Ponsot
The Enkindled Spring
by D. H. Lawrence
The Magpie's Shadow
by Yvor Winters
Thinking of Madame Bovary
by Jane Kenyon
Two Sewing
by Hazel Hall
Under the Willows [May is a pious fraud of the almanac]
by James Russell Lowell
Vernal Equinox
by Amy Lowell
[O were my love yon Lilac fair]
by Robert Burns