Yellow Telephones —


Yellow telephones

in a row in the garden

are ringing,

shrill with light.

Old-fashioned spring

brings earliest models out

each April the same,

naïve and classical.

Look into the yolk-

colored mouthpieces

alert with echoes.

Say hello to time.

         —  May Swenson

(from Nature: Poems Old and New)

Northeasterners are rejoicing, after this difficult winter, in the emergence of the yellow glories that are daffodils. But I think that the poet’s metaphor here doesn’t make too much sense unless you know what old-fashioned upright dial telephones looked like in the olden days, when I was a girl. So to make up for the lack of years of most of you reading this, I’ve included this thumbnail of a good old-fashioned phone — that, come to think of it, looked a lot like a daffodil! And now, say hello to time —-

(Just posted on Pauline Clarke’s Writing Down the Words blog, this sentence:  There is nothing so determined as a flower in spring. As usual, Pauline hits the nail square on the head.)

This entry was posted in Etcetera, Photography, Poetry and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Yellow Telephones —

  1. Kattsby says:

    I loved this poem and post! Would never had made the connection myself, but now I’ll never look at daffies the same way again 🙂

    I know those phones, but they were out already when we got one.

    They are in bloom now here in SJ … at least in certain places, where it’s warm.


  2. klassikurvz says:

    This absolutely rings my bell. Love it. Love it. Love it.
    Looking and Learning. Klassi K.


  3. Pauline says:

    My daffodils are “ringing shrill with light.” From a few plants years ago I now have a double row of the gorgeous things all across the front of the cottage – a host of them, if you will 🙂 Nothing shouts spring quite like a daffodil!


  4. Stef says:

    I love the contrast/comparison of daffodils to telephones – and your image made that parallel really, really clear. Thank you! 🙂


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