I began writing golf poetry posts for this Blog in December 2008. About a month or so ago, the Blog passed 50,000 page views. Those of you who visit from time to time have helped to revived a poetry reading (and reciting) tradition that began with the first golf magazines published in the 1890′s. Golf magazines stopped publishing poetry in the 1930′s. The Shivas Irons Society recently tried to revive the tradition with a Journal of golf, literature and art. Unfortunately, the Society has had to suspend publication.
Up to now, I have only included poems from those old golf magazines, some from long out-of-print books, and a few of my own. All were written by golfers. In this post, I am stepping out of the tee box to offer a stanza from a poem called “Two Tramps in Mud Time” by Robert Frost. Frost was not a golfer, but he was a keen and sensitive observer of nature.
For my purposes, the poem’s story about Frost’s encounter with the tramps (actually lumberjacks) is not important, but the time of the encounter, a day in April, is. What is also important is that you be a New England golfer. If you are not you will have to come here next April and experience what Frost has described.
In short, Frost captures in eight lines what all New England golfers have experienced when they have ventured to play in the early Spring. And at least for me, his characterization of the vagaries of an April day’s weather is a wonderful example of what makes poetry possibly as magical as golf.
Now recall yourself on a New England golf course in mid-April:
“The sun was warm but the wind was chill.
You know how it is with an April day
When the sun is out and the wind is still,
You’re one month on in the middle of May.
But if you so much as dare to speak,
A cloud comes over the sunlit arch,
A wind comes off a frozen peak,
And you’re two moths back in the middle of March.”
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