Greeting the New Year in Poetry

Let's start with an epitome:

Kobyashi Issa
New Year's Day

New Year's Day--
everything is in blossom!
I feel about average.

Tr. Robert Haas 

Then we have the inimitably cheerful Thomas Hardy

and, of course, what would a change of year be without

For those making resolutions we have Rainer Maria Rilke's
Archaic Torso of Apollo

My own haiku:

The new year comes in
the old goes out; nothing stops
the baby's crying.

(I claim it for my own--but I will readily say that it is so engrained in memory that I may have stolen it from some great writer of haiku and forgotten.  If anyone reads this and recognizes the real author (if, indeed, I am not he), please let me know.)

Then we have Robert Herrick sending

And we can depart the subject where we entered--with Issa's quiet wisdom

New Year's Morning
Kobiyashi Issa 

New Year's morning:
the ducks on the pond
quack and quack.


  1. Steven,

    Nice collection. I don't recognize the haiku, but Issa has a spring haiku about nothing changing.

    Spring begins again,
    Upon folly,
    Folly returns.
    -- Issa --


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Structures--Ulysses and Mrs. Dalloway

Another Queen of Night

Lewis Carroll and James Joyce