In Search of Optimism

It’s been a delight to have more time to write this week during Winter Break. I especially enjoyed taking up an Ethical ELA challenge to revisit sonnet-writing. I’d forgotten how much I enjoy writing sonnets. They’re a lovely brain puzzle to occupy me on icy winter days when going outside seems to risk life and limb.

In Search of Optimism

Outside the window, winter still holds sway
new fallen snow conceals the grass below
Too early, dark invades the cold midday
’tis only drifts and icicles that grow.

First snow that fell enchanting, soft, serene
has mutilated to an icy scrum
We yearn for something tender, soft, and green
these endless days of winter leave us numb.

But is it just a passing trick of light
or is the finch more golden by the day?
And look! The sun climbs higher, warm and bright
and sends the ice retreating on the bay.

The warbling call of finches on the wing
ignites a feathered hope for coming spring.

©Molly Hogan

This week’s Poetry Friday Roundup is hosted by Ruth at her blog, There is no such thing as a God-forsaken Town. Her beautiful photos and poems often feature tropical birds and flowers and always provide welcome light during the dark days of winter.

28 thoughts on “In Search of Optimism

  1. Tim Gels says:

    Molly, thank you for a poem that reflects the thoughts of so many of us this time of year. I oftentimes check the sunrise and sunset times as I look for the weather report, and love to see them get just a bit earlier and later every day.

    I appreciate your use of the phrase “brain puzzle” when describing a sonnet. I’ve started to feel the pull of more formal poetry, but, with a nod to Frost (an appropriate name for this time of the year), I do love an easier game of tennis.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I do love the hope and optimism here…. from scrum to song! Beautiful! xo

    Liked by 1 person

  3. margaretsmn says:

    We finally are seeing the sun again this morning after a week of ice and cold. Your optimistic hope is contagious. Love the ending couplet and “feathered hope”.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Linda Mitchell says:

    You know I’m in love with winter still holding sway…and the question turn of the sonnet. The resolution in the last stanza is beautifully done. Finches on the wing…can’t wait!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Your sonnet is breathtakingly beautiful. Dear Molly, I struggle with this form, especially at the volta turns & I’m in awe of what you’ve shared from the winter landscape.


    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      Thanks so much, Jan. I’m so glad you liked the volta as I hadn’t even realized there was supposed to be one in a sonnet until recently (oops!) and worked to get this one in place!


  6. Kay Mcgriff says:

    Lovely sonnet with its hopeful turn toward spring. I am still enjoying the snow we’ve had, especially as it glitters under a sunny sky today, but even so, I’m also yearning for something tender, soft and green.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. haitiruth says:

    I agree that writing a sonnet is a “lovely brain puzzle.” And this one is beautiful! Ruth,

    Liked by 1 person

  8. lindabaie says:

    That yearning in your sonnet feels like that’s what it was created for, Molly. We talked about it yesterday at the bookstore as we prepare to get out the garden books! That “feathered hope” is here, too. Thank you for your beautiful poem.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. janicescully says:

    This sonnet if so well done, and so evocative of the winter now, but with hope of spring. The last two lines are perfect!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. maryleehahn says:

    Thank you for this poem of hope! I was just jotting in my 10-year diary and saw that in years past, there were crocuses blooming and daffodils poking up around this time. This year, the signs of spring are increase in light and the cat starting to shed copiously. Whatever the signs…I’m READY!

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      I’m struggling with getting out to walk since all the trails are snowy/icy. Luckily I always have the beaches and the sun is warmer and the light is lasting longer and there are more birds singing…I just need to keep reminding myself of those things.


  11. bmagee10 says:

    Your sonnet captured that hopeful pre-spring spirit perfectly, Molly! We are just past “the icy scrum” here in Switzerland, heading toward warmer days. Fingers crossed they last… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Sally Murphy says:

    You are so clever to create such a wonderful sonnet. That ‘feathered hope’ is a wonderful thing in these times.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. We-hell, that developed and delivered very nicely! Thanks for that feathered hope there. I need it!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. You will love Hal Borland’s “Twelve Moons of the Year” by Hal Borland published posthumously in 1979. There’s time for a MBH Maine version in 2021. Check it out.,his%20wife%2C%20Barbara%20Dodge%20Borland.


  15. cvarsalona says:

    Molly, I think many of us are looking for spring based on “these endless days of winter (that) leave us numb”. Absolutely lovely, Molly!


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