Lyrical Somerville – November 15

On November 15, 2017, in Latest News, by The Somerville Times


Michael Todd Steffen’s poetry and articles have appeared in The Boston Globe, Connecticut Review, Taos Journal, Poem (HLA), ACM (Another Chicago Magazine), Ibbetson Street, on the Boston Area Small Press and Poetry Scene website, and in the window of the Grolier Poetry Bookshop. Partner, Orchard, Day Moon, his first book of poems, was released in April 2014 by Cervena Barva Press, edited by Gloria Mindock.

Michael Todd Steffen

For Richard Wilbur

1921 – 2017


It was in autumn, in the time of leaves,

Persephone was pining home to Hades,

As ant stored up, cricket sighed out their lives

And pumpkins glowed around the neighborhoods,


All things appropriate, death a charade,

While winds disrobed the undesirable boughs,

The western light impatient, the poet laid

His head back on his pillow and closed his eyes.


Persephone, in Greek mythology, is the goddess of fertility and of the underworld. She was the daughter of Demeter (the Earth) and was abducted by Hades, Lord of the underworld. Hades allows Persephone to return to see her mother each spring, bringing new vegetation, flowers, etc. But each autumn she must return to Hades, and so the leaves fall from the trees and everything turns brown.

The ant and cricket, representing industry and prodigality, appear as an autumn lesson in the fables of Aesop, versified famously by Jean de la Fontaine in La Cigale et la Fourmi.

— Michael Todd Steffen


To have your work considered for the Lyrical send it to:
Doug Holder, 25 School St.; Somerville, MA 02143


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