Nebraska 26: ‘Lines in Late March’ by John G. Neihardt

I whistle; why not?
Have I not seen the first strips of green winding up the sloughs?
Have I not heard the meadow-lark?
I have looked into soft blue skies and have been uplifted!

Where are the doubts and the dark ideas I entertained?
What have I caught from the maple-buds that changes me?
Or was it the meadow-lark— or the blue sky— or the strips of green,
The green that winds up the sloughs?

I sought the dark and found much of it.
Is there in truth much darkness?
Have the meadow-larks lied to me?
Have the green grass and blue sky testified falsely?

I want to trust the sky and the grass!
I want to believe the songs I hear from the fenceposts!
Why should a maple-bud mislead me?

Reproduced from Lyric and Dramatic Poems by John G. Neihardt. Copyright 1926 Macmillan Company. Copyright renewed 1954 by John G. Neihardt.

I forget my precise – if it ever was – rubric for posting ‘Nebraska’ poems. Initially, they referenced the state directly or places therein, and then it seems relevance was the poet’s link to Nebraska. All will suffice. Neihardt was a one-time resident in Nebraska as well as Professor of Poetry at the University of Nebraska.

I like the challenge of the questions here and the defiance within that.

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