A Bridge is There by Bertha Wilcox Smith

Copyright 1968
Checked out 4 times in 42 years
Last checked out 21 years ago

This book makes me sad. Bertha Wilcox Smith had talent. I wish she would have written more and I wish that she had encountered a teacher who would have pushed her further. There are some wonderfully descriptive poems in this book, but in my browsing I found none that transcended description. I suspect Smith could have gone further. But that’s not what happened. This is what she left the world (she hasn’t left much of a web footprint) and it’s not enough to last. This book never had much interest and what there was died out over 20 years ago. This book can be culled without anyone noticing. Here’s a last hurrah for Bertha W. Smith:

Road Map

The map showed roads and tunnels, towns
And bridges arching over,
But it did not mention on its chart
A wind from seas of clover;
It did not mark a lone elm standing
In the midst of wheat,
Nor the manner of man who left it there,
Cool shade about its feet;
There was no indication of
The cows that stood in brooks,
Nor the merriment of lads and dogs
In woodsy swimming nooks;
No note was made of buckwheat bloom,
Billowing to spread
A creamy counterpane upon
A field’s wide bed.
A map could never specify
How a road would flow
Gently into evening,
Under firefly glow.

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About jppoetryreader

Poetry reviewer and poetry consultant for libraries
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