Poem a Day – 09-06-2014

Poem a Day: New and classic poems provided by the Academy of American Poets

Prairie Dawn

Willa Cather

A crimson fire that vanquishes the stars;
A pungent odor from the dusty sage;
A sudden stirring of the huddled herds;
A breaking of the distant table-lands
Through purple mists ascending, and the flare
Of water ditches silver in the light;
A swift, bright lance hurled low across the world;
A sudden sickness for the hills of home.

About the poem: “Prairie Dawn” was originally published in Cather’s 1903 collection “April Twilights.” A sister poem, “Prairie Spring,” appeared as the prologue to her 1913 novel “O Pioneers!”

About Willa Cather: Willa Cather was born in Gore, Va., in 1873. She was known widely for her novels and also published numerous books of poetry, essays and letters. Cather died in New York in 1947.

The Academy of American Poets is a nonprofit, mission-driven organization, whose aim is to make poetry available to a wider audience. Email The Academy at poem-a-day@poets.org.

This poem is in the public domain.
Distributed by King Features Syndicate


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