In ‘Spring Morning’ Melone explores themes of peace, comfort, and the human senses. His speaker uses imagery to tap into the reader’s memory and try to bring forward a calm and comforting mood. The speaker’s tone is contemplative, but knowledgeable, as they lead the reader through the different sights and sounds.
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Summary of Spring Morning
The speaker takes the reader through a series of images that represent a simple moment at home, enjoying the spring morning. The images are vibrant and will likely take each reader to a different place. They are different enough to where there is something for everyone to latch onto, whether that be the sound of dogs or the color of the sky. In conclusion, the speaker asks the reader or listener to take these moments of peace and use them to help one make the most of the day ahead.
Structure of Spring Morning
‘Spring Morning’ by Matt Melone is a thirteen line poem that is contained within one stanza of text. The lines do not follow a specific rhyme scheme or metrical pattern although there are examples of rhyme in the lines. A close reader can find instances of perfect rhyme and half-rhyme. Perfect rhyme is the kind of rhyme that readers are most familiar with. It is often seen at the ends of lines of poetry. In this case, there is one example at the end of the poem with lines eleven and thirteen. The words are “play” and “day”. These also connect to a great example of half-rhyme.
Half-rhyme, also known as slant or partial rhyme, is seen through the repetition of assonance or consonance. This means that either a vowel or consonant sound is reused within one line, or multiple lines of verse. In the first liens, there is an example with “crema” and “sonata”. Then, later one with “crystal” and “clear”. These are connected by both their starting letter/sound (an example of alliteration) and the repeated “r” consonant sound. This is also seen in the prior line with “roses red”.
Poetic Techniques in Spring Morning
Melone uses several poetic techniques in ‘Spring Morning’. These include but are not limited to alliteration, enjambment, and imagery. The latter, imagery, is the most important technique in the poem. It helps to create a specific atmosphere and mood that carries the poem’s meaning and intentions. Imagery refers to the elements of a poem that engage a reader’s senses. Traditionally, the word “image” is related to visual sights, things that a reader can imagine seeing, but the imagery is much more than that. It is something one can sense with their five senses.
In the case of ‘Spring Morning,’ a reader can look to the first two lines as great examples of how creating imagery is more than just creating images. These lines are evocative of a certain smell, taste, and even state of mind. This is maintained throughout the thirteen lines until that same state of mind is explicitly described in line twelve with the words “peace, free and plenty”.
Alliteration occurs when words are used in succession, or at least appear close together, and begin with the same sound. For example, “Mourning” and “maple” in line four and “Dappled” and “Dewdrops” at the beginnings of lines five and six. Another good example is “peace,” “plenty,” and “play” in the last lines of the poem.
Enjambment is another important technique commonly used in poetry. It occurs when a line is cut off before its natural stopping point. Enjambment forces a reader down to the next line, and the next, quickly. One has to move forward in order to comfortably resolve a phrase or sentence. There are examples throughout this poem. They play into the stream of consciousness style of writing that Melone employs in ‘Spring Morning’.
Analysis of Spring Morning
Crema gold on espresso black
Lavender honey on biscuits brown
Violin sonata and piano etude
Mourning doves on maple branch
The first lines of ‘Spring Morning’ introduce the reader to several images. These are the first of the poem but are far from the last. They bring the reader into a peaceful state of mind in which they are asked to consider the sight, smell, and taste of espresso, “Lavender honey” and biscuits. There is music in the next lines, as well as the sounds of birds outside the window. Each line brings the reader something new without the use of end punctuation to separate out thoughts or sentences.
This style of writing, in which one thought merges with the next, is known as stream of consciousness. Although Melone does not employ it to its fullest extent in ‘Spring Morning,’ a reader familiar with the works of writers such as Virginia Woolf will recognize the free-flowing pattern of thought.
Dappled sunrise with marble sky
Dewdrops glisten on fescue grass
Yellow lilies kissing roses red
Fountain splashing, crystal clear
In the next four lines of ‘Spring Morning,’ the speaker brings in several other images. These lines do not rhyme but there are a number of examples of alliteration that make them feel as though they do. These include “crystal clear” and “roses red” in the seventh and eighth lines. By this point, a reader should have also picked up on the use of color. Since the first lines Melone has mentioned black, brown, lavender (as smell but in this context also a color), yellow and red. Then, there are the colors a reader will always associate with things like the “sunrise” and “sky”.
Smoldering ash of pinion wood
Dogs chase and squirrels taunt
Joyful echoes, children at play
Moments of peace, free and plenty
Breathe it in – then seize the day.
In the final five lines of ‘Spring Morning,’ the speaker takes the reader through a few final images before concluding the poem with a call to action. There is more life outside, human and animal, and as the subject and listener of the poem, the reader is aware of it all. They are asked to enjoy these moments of “peace, free, and plenty” and then “seize the day”. There is a solid example of caesura in the last line with the phrase “Breathe it in – then seize the day”.