Ed’s Top Ten Favorite March Madness Poetry 2012 Poems: #9

We’re now just nine days away from the start of March Madness Poetry 2013!

Continuing my one-a-day posting of my Top Ten favorite poems from #MMPoetry 2012 … today we have a succinct yet dramatic one written by Mary Lee Hahn prompted by her 11-seed word “cavalier” in the second round:

11-cavalier
WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE A REDBUD IN SPRING
by Mary Lee Hahn

Burst
first.

Amaze
with the cavalier way
you explode whole constellations of purple stars
from your smooth grey bark.

Add glory
to the understory.


This poem captured 80% of the vote in its matchup and helped Mary Lee reach the Sweet Sixteen. Click here to see this poem as it originally appeared in #MMPoetry 2012.

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  • http://www.loridegman.com Lori Degman

    GULP! I’m up against Mary Lee in the first round :-(

  • Janet F.

    Thank you, Ed, for sharing Mary Lee’s fabulous spring poem once again and thank you Mary Lee for writing it. Am desperately seeking some kind of color other than white!
    Looking forward to seeing your hits this year!

  • http://readingyear.blogspot.com Mary Lee

    What a surprise to see one of mine here! Last year there were redbuds popping at the time I wrote this poem. Today it’s snowing!

  • Janet F.

    And I meant, “your” hits as in yours, Mary Lee!!!!

  • http://www.stephenwcahill.com Stephen W Cahill

    When i read this last year I remember wishing we had redbuds in Ireland. They sound fabulous! Just like Mary’s peom :-)

  • http://www.NoWaterRiver.com Renee LaTulippe (@ReneeMLaTulippe)

    Ah, yes, I remember those exploding constellations. Exquisite!

  • http://susantaylorbrown.com Susan Taylor Brown

    This was possibly my favorite poem last year. I think of it, and Mary Lee every time I walk out my front door to look at MY redbud, which is just getting ready to burst.

  • http://www.lindaboyden.com Linda Boyden

    Beautiful snippet of a poem!!

  • http://www.quinettecook.com Quinette Cook

    I love rediscovering these poems!

  • Carrie Finison

    This is beautiful. Thanks for sharing it.

  • http://www.poetrytalents.com Gloson

    I love Mary’s flowery poems. Her poem about saffrons is also superb. I wonder from where she got so knowlegable about botanical stuff.

    • http://www.thinkkidthink.com Ed DeCaria

      I’ll let her respond, but as I recall it she did all of her research on saffron DURING THE 36-HOUR WRITING PERIOD. It’s not just a challenge, folks, it’s an adventure!

  • http://www.laurasalas.com laurasalas

    So glad you’re doing a roundup of your favorites. This was one of the most fabulous ones last year! Yay, Mary Lee!

  • http://www.teacherdance.blogspot.com/ Linda Baie

    Mary Lee is a wizard using few words that tell much. This was a terrific one!

  • Marileta Robinson

    I think this is pretty close to a perfect poem. I love it.

  • http://readingyear.blogspot.com Mary Lee

    I had never seen a redbud until I moved to Ohio. I can remember that moment so clearly — the shock of seeing the blooms popping right out of the bark!!

  • http://readingyear.blogspot.com Mary Lee

    Gloson, I know about redbuds first-hand, but I had to do a LOT of research for my “STIGMA” poem. I think that’s the one that I wrote 15 pages worth of false-starts in my notebook before I figured out a way to write about the stigma of a certain crocus that is hand-harvested for saffron. Never knew any of that until MM12!! Hold onto your hat — you don’t know what you’ll learn or write about until you get there…it’s a pretty wild ride and fun, fun, FUN!

  • http://catherinemjohnson.wordpress.com Catherine Johnson

    I love that Mary Lee has her own unique style. It showed throughout MoP, love this one!

  • http://www.poetrytalents.com Gloson

    Hi, thanks for your reply. I can relate. I’m writing a poem called “The Elephant Who Likes Ballet”. I know nothing about ballet but I catch the feel of it. And as soon as I finish digest ballet terminology, I’ll be able to complete the poem. :P

    Heheh. False starts. During my first practice round for MM13, I wrote only 2 false starts. You wrote 15 pages worth of false starts? That’s so encouraging. :)

  • http://www.poemfarm.amylv.com Amy Ludwig VanDerwater

    It is a wonderful thing when the beauty of a poem matches exactly the beauty of a real life plant or animal. Mary Lee did this here – her poem IS a redbud and a redbud IS her poem! Thank you for the trip down memory lane! a.

  • http://heyjimhill.com Jim Hill

    I’ve never seen a redbud in real life, but I can SEE it through these words. Active, evocative and seductive.