Cold Spring

By Lawrence Raab b. 1946 Lawrence Raab
The last few gray sheets of snow are gone,   
winter’s scraps and leavings lowered   
to a common level. A sudden jolt
of weather pushed us outside, and now   
this larger world once again belongs to us.   
I stand at the edge of it, beside the house,   
listening to the stream we haven’t heard   
since fall, and I imagine one day thinking   
back to this hour and blaming myself
for my worries, my foolishness, today’s choices   
having become the accomplished
facts of change, accepted
or forgotten. The woods are a mangle
of lines, yet delicate, yet precise,
when I take the time to look closely.
If I’m not happy it must be my own fault.   
At the edge of the lawn my wife
bends down to uncover a flower, then another.   
The first splurge of crocuses.
And for a moment the sweep and shudder   
of the wind seems indistinguishable   
from the steady furl of water
just beyond her.

Lawrence Raab, “Cold Spring” from Other Children. Copyright © 1987 by Lawrence Raab. Used by permission of Carnegie Mellon University Press.

Source: Other Children (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 1987)

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Poet Lawrence Raab b. 1946

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Subjects Spring, Nature, Weather

 Lawrence  Raab


Poet and professor Lawrence Raab was born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts in 1946. He earned a BA from Middlebury College and an MA from Syracuse University and has taught at various institutions including American University, the University of Michigan, and Williams College, where is the Morris Professor of Rhetoric. Raab is the author of more than half a dozen collections of poetry, including What We Don’t Know About Each Other . . .

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Poems by Lawrence Raab

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SUBJECT Spring, Nature, Weather

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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