Friday, September 05, 2008

Poetry Friday: Cicadas

Cicadas at the End of Summer
by Martin Walls
(American Life In Poetry: Column 024)

Whine as though a pine tree is bowing a broken violin,
As though a bandsaw cleaves a thousand thin sheets of
They chime like freight wheels on a Norfolk Southern
slowing into town.

But all you ever see is the silence.
Husks, glued to the underside of maple leaves.

(the rest of the poem is here)

Happy End of Summer! Let the cool weather begin!

The round up this week is at Wild Rose Reader.


  1. Wonderful poem! Cicadas are ugly, but this poem is beautiful in its surprising comparisons.

  2. "the color of forgotten things" I like that very much. Talk about (as Mary Lee said) a poet taking you by the chin and making you look at things a new way!

  3. Wow, cicadas really are scary looking. And the absence when they are gone must feel like one's ears are bleeding. The husks have become a fashion accessory for some in Japan, I just saw a piece on a girl decorating her hair with them.

    Bit I digress!
    I like the poem a lot.

  4. Thanks for sharing! My favorite all-time poem is a haiku about a cicada:

    Matsuo Basho (1644-1694)

    shell of a cicada
    it sang itself
    utterly away


  5. Anonymous3:28 PM

    I was just trying to think of words to describe cicada song last week. These words work well, I think.

  6. Thank you for a great poem. We do a poem a day in third grade. Yesterday a student brought in the shell of a cicada. She was excited this morning to see the poem.


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