Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry: July Storm

Edited and introduced by Wesley McNair, Maine Poet Laureate

Over her long literary life, Elizabeth Coatsworth of Nobleboro authored 90 books, including volumes of fiction, biography, stories for children, and poetry. In today?s poem she describes a thunderstorm in Maine.

July Storm by Elizabeth Coatsworth

Like a tall woman walking across the hayfield
the rain came slowly, dressed in crystal and the sun.
Rustling along the ground, she stopped at our apple tree
only for a whispering minute, then swept darkening
skirts over the lake,
and so serenely climbed the wooden hills.
Was the rainbow a ribbon that she wore?
We saw it when she was gone. It seemed a part of her brightness
and the way she moved lightly, but with assurance
over the earth.

Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Poem copyright © 1963 Elizabeth Coatsworth. Reprinted from Down East Magazine, July 1963, by permission of Estate of Catherine Beston Barnes. Questions about submitting to Take Heart may be directed to Gibson Fay-LeBlanc, Special Consultant to the Maine Poet Laureate, at mainepoetlaureate@gmail.com or 207-228-8263. Take Heart: Poems from Maine, an anthology collecting the first two years of this column, is now available from Down East Books.