2012 has a nice ring to it, don’t you think? Look at it written out: twenty-twelve. It sounds really fresh and sharp, but also has a tone of valor and assuredness, optimism and resolve. The alliteration and concise rhythm add to that tone. Twenty-twelve. Of course neither I nor anyone else knows if this year will unfold with such attributes. We’ll see.
Because I was just in Boston last week, I thought I’d post a New Year’s poem by a Boston native: the one and only Sylvia Plath. She found the inspiration for “New Year on Dartmoor” as she was taking a walk with her young daughter. While the child sees the end-of-year surroundings with wonder and “newness”, the mother’s voice – the cynical and apprehensive adult – points out the superficiality of it all, knowing that challenges and uncertainty lie ahead. Plath presents it like only Sylvia Plath can.
New Year on Dartmoor, by Sylvia Plath
This is newness: every little tawdry
Obstacle glass-wrapped and peculiar,
Glinting and clinking in a saint’s falsetto. Only you
Don’t know what to make of the sudden slippiness,
The blind, white, awful, inaccessible slant.
There’s no getting up to it by the words you know.
No getting up by elephant or wheel or shoe.
We have only come to look. You are too new
To want the world in a glass hat.
You can read a superb analysis of this poem here.
Happy 2012 to all of my readers. Let’s hope for peace, prosperity, love, and strength in the New Year. Looking forward into the future, we all have much to think about.
A beauty from Frederic Lord Leighton, this is Solitude: