Sunday, April 21, 2019

To Make a Forest

Flickr Creative Commons Photo 

To Make a Forest, After Emily Dickinson

To make a forest it takes one spring and eternity,
The delicate goddess of this spring mist and one enormous eternity.
Plus moments.
The sweet moments alone will do,
If eternity is few.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2019

This is a "cross-out" poem, an idea shared by Laura Shovan in her Nerdy Book Club Poetry Month FB event.

It is also a magnetic poetry poem. Thank goodness FOREST was right on top in the box!


  1. I enjoyed juxtaposition of moments and eternity. As well as the way the short line, "plus moments," brought the perfect slowing of the poem.

  2. Again, I can't believe how many big ideas you can cram into such a few short lines! And like Cathy said, the "plus moments" line is perfect. The way you have broken each line, and the starting with long and then going to much shorter works really well.

  3. Ah, celebrating those 'sweet moments', Mary Lee. This is lovely!

  4. Love your poem, the idea of eternity made up of moments that matter. Curious what poem you used for the cross-out work. I loved being able to see Laura's lesson. She is very generous explaining her work with kids. Another lovely poem.
    Janet F.

    1. OK, it was late, I was tired...
      Not an excuse, but a muddled brain from a Marie Kondo-like purging and I could not recall To Make a What...I got it. And Duh to me. I should learn that one by heart as penance. Too many poems too many clothes, too many trinkets, not enough hours. Downsizing along the way is a must. But not my poetry collection. Never.

    2. Glad you figured it out! Yes, I think the penance of memorization is a good one. I reinstated "Glory be to God for dappled things" (GM Hopkins) to my memory during recent hours of proctoring testing!

  5. So clever and lovely, too - thanks for sharing! And that poem of Emily D's is one of my favorites. Have a great week!

  6. The more I read this, the more I like it. There's so much here! I also think, as others said, that this is a great example of the power of line breaks.

  7. And.....I love it! Standing on the shoulders of poetry giants is one of my favorite things to do.

  8. "To make a forest it takes on spring and eternity." I will write that down somewhere, because I love it.

  9. I love "if eternity is few." It doesn't make sense, and yet it completely DOES.

  10. "Plus moments."
    I think everything takes what it takes, plus that. And this one keeps drawing me back to mull it over. Eternity, plus moments. Yes, I think that's right, and feels true.

  11. The last two lines resonated with me. Reminds me to savor the moments more.


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