American Life in Poetry: Quicker

Kwame Dawes. Courtesy photo.

Here in the Midwest, on the cusps of spring, on days when I won­der when win­ter will tru­ly end, I wel­come this deft­ly shaped reminder by David Bak­er of the sea­son that has just passed.

He dra­ma­tizes beau­ti­ful­ly the com­ing of win­ter and the way it takes hold of us. Baker’s title ​“Quick­er” sug­gests move­ment and not sta­sis, some­thing hope­ful, even, in the promise that comes with the chang­ing seasons.

By David Baker

the season quicker now
the darkening—

no longer the leaves
fluttering down

but the whole shadowed earth
reaching up, taking hold

American Life in Poetry does not accept unsolicited manuscripts. It is made possible by The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2022 by David Baker, “Quicker” from The Southern Review, 58:1, Winter 2022 Poem reprinted by permission of the author and the publisher. Introduction copyright ©2022 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction’s author, Kwame Dawes, is George W. Holmes Professor of English and Glenna Luschei Editor of Prairie Schooner at the University of Nebraska.