How Like a Winter…

(Sonnet xcvii)

So Shakespeare describes absence. Yes—but no,
since every winter ends, gentling to spring’s
tentative yellows, then the green and blue
and bolder tones of flowering summer. So
has this winter passed, as do all things—
except the final absence. Without you,
for instance, all of time is cut in two—
before and after—seasons all the same,
despite the beckoning lushness of the new,
the living, rich in fur and fins and wings,
intent on resurrection. But they go,
our absent loves, and leave us stranded here,
parted from all the changes of the year
as by an endless fall of pallid snow.

Rhina Espaillat

Rhina Espaillat

Dominican-born Rhina P. Espaillat has published ten full-length books and three chapbooks, comprising poetry, essays, and short stories, in both English and her native Spanish, and prize-winning translations from and into Spanish. Her work appears in numerous journals, websites, and anthologies, and has earned national and international awards.

Her most recent publications are two poetry collections in English titled Playing at Stillness and Her Place in These Designs, as well as a book of Spanish translations titled Oscura fruta/Dark Berries: Forty-two Poems by Richard Wilbur, and a book of Spanish translations titled Algo hay que no es amigo de los muros/Something There Is that Doesn’t Love a Wall: Forty Poems by Robert Frost, both available from Amazon.com.

Espaillat is a founding member of two thriving poetry groups that run workshops and sponsor poetry readings: the Fresh Meadows Poets in Queens, NY, where she lived with her late husband, the sculptor Alfred Moskowitz, for many years, and the Powow River Poets in Newburyport, MA., where she has lived since 1990.
Rhina Espaillat

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Author: Rhina Espaillat

Dominican-born Rhina P. Espaillat has published ten full-length books and three chapbooks, comprising poetry, essays, and short stories, in both English and her native Spanish, and prize-winning translations from and into Spanish. Her work appears in numerous journals, websites, and anthologies, and has earned national and international awards. Her most recent publications are two poetry collections in English titled Playing at Stillness and Her Place in These Designs, as well as a book of Spanish translations titled Oscura fruta/Dark Berries: Forty-two Poems by Richard Wilbur, and a book of Spanish translations titled Algo hay que no es amigo de los muros/Something There Is that Doesn’t Love a Wall: Forty Poems by Robert Frost, both available from Amazon.com. Espaillat is a founding member of two thriving poetry groups that run workshops and sponsor poetry readings: the Fresh Meadows Poets in Queens, NY, where she lived with her late husband, the sculptor Alfred Moskowitz, for many years, and the Powow River Poets in Newburyport, MA., where she has lived since 1990.