The Passing Year

Poem, published in Pomona Valley Review

Earlier this year, my poem, ‘The Passing Year’ was published in issue 16 of Pomona Valley Review. It was both gratifying and reassuring for me that editors Clem and Whitney chose to use the poem, as I’m particularly fond of it and had already been rejected by eight other publications. Had I not been so attached to it, then I may have decided to abandon the pursuit to publish and leave it on the proverbial backburner, while I concentrated on submitting other works. However, my persistence paid off on this occasion, and I’m so glad that I continued to enter submissions!

Even without the upheaval and turmoil of the COVID-19 pandemic in the past few years I still think it’s fair to say that, when we all look back on our lives over any given year, we experience and bear witness to an incredible range of highs and lows during that short timespan. It’s this bittersweet sense that I’ve tried to encapsulate with ‘The Passing Year’.

“I can’t fail to wonder at all these things, to be amazed by what the passing year brings.” from ‘The Passing Year’ by Sam Bartle. (Image: Bogdan Dirica. Pexels)

It observes the struggle and hardship caused by adversity and how we try to keep going until we encounter better times ahead, but for me it’s also a reminder that when those good times arrive they must be enjoyed and savoured. The places we go to in our lives can play host both to experiences of love and happiness, or hatred and sadness, so our memories of those places can become bittersweet as well, which is something I’ve tried to reflect with the lines:

 "These different worlds all in the same space, 
In transience, come and go from your sight."

Read Issue 16 of ‘Pomona Valley Review’ here, where you’ll find ‘The Passing Year’ at page 228.

By Sam Bartle

Springtide Bright

Blue River Review publishes poem from my ‘Seasons Quartet’

Back in October 2021, I decided to write a poem that tried to paint an image of a stereotypical English Autumn (known of course as the ‘Fall’ in the United States). Since then, at the turn of each season, I’ve attempted to do the same for the others, drawing partly on actual observation but largely based on the widely accepted characteristics of the seasons, which I tried to animate as much as possible. I’m delighted to announce that the third poem in that quartet, ‘Springtide Bright’, has been published by the Blue River Review Journal, and my sincere thanks to editors Whitney and Clem for giving this poem a space in their publication.

The poem uses natural features such as daffodils and snowdrops to try and draw a picture of an idyllic Spring. Image: Pexels (Suzy Hazelwood)

It attempts to convey the gentle warmth of Spring, and uses natural features such as daffodils, snowdrops, cherry blossom, primrose and birdsong to help draw the picture of an idyllic Spring day. Hopefully it works! At some stage I hope to publish all four poems collectively as a ‘Seasons Quartet’ so they can be read together, but for now I hope you enjoy reading ‘Springtide Bright‘ and other people’s poems on Blue River Review!

By Sam Bartle