Rite of Spring

(after Stravinsky)

Appease the gods! Accede to their demands!
Adapt your pulse to this unpolished beat,
endure the dissonance of ancient bands,
cavort and writhe as horns and oboes bleat!
Then choose an untried girl, obedient
and limber, to discharge the dance of death—
the final, furious ingredient
in this unholy bargain: breath for breath.
For if Stravinsky’s vision holds a seed
of truth—if strident sacrifice is due,
if one must fall before a flock takes wing—
then let us leap and clamor; let us heed
old myths and miracles, and make them new.
Agree to any price—we must have spring!





Jean L. Kreiling’s poetry has appeared in sev­eral jour­nals, includ­ing Ekphra­sis, The Evans­ville Review, The Edge City Review, The For­mal­ist, The Lyric, Phoebe, and SLANT. Her work was awarded prizes in the 17th Inter­na­tional Poetry Com­pe­ti­tion (spon­sored by the World Order of Nar­ra­tive and For­mal­ist Poets, 2003), and was nom­i­nated for a Push­cart Prize in 2000.