Gallery III: View Toward the Hudson Valley

A series of loose Petrarchan sonnets meditating on the Hudson River School. These were featured as part of “Falling for Pawling,” a musical production based on student works performed by the Sherman Chamber Ensemble. This is the third poem in the series.

Our splashing in puddles after storms (1) in August noons (2)

And chasing butterflies with light mesh nets by our hips

Have turned to mist and a cigarette between your lips.

We were bound kindred spirits (3), I used to assume

But we grew up. You breathe a ring of fumes

And murmur you forgot those Shandaken (4) trips

Long ago. I suppose it’s me and me alone who grips

To the past, but I’ve not forgotten how your smile blooms

When catching monarch butterflies in your light mesh net,

Or smelling mother’s rose perfume, or when

You cried at the sight of the Hudson River sunset.

These may be reminiscences of mere old men (5),

But though I can’t see through the smoke quite yet,

I find I still hope to see you smile again.

  1. Gathering Storm by Asher Brown Durand.
  2. An August Afternoon by Asher Brown Durand.
  3. Kindred Spirits by Asher Brown Durand
  4. High Point: Shandaken Mountains by Asher Brown Durand
  5. An Old Man’s Reminiscences by Asher Brown Durand

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