Main street, Edgartown is decorated with April blooms. Tim Johnson

Sunday, April 21, 2024

Unofficially the first poet laureate of the Island was Dionis Coffin Riggs, who began hosting a poetry group at the Cleaveland House in West Tisbury in 1960. The Martha’s Vineyard Poet Laureate Society is looking for the Island’s next poet laureate. Applications will be accepted through April 26. Visit for more information. Here is Dionis’s poem Wait, Spring, which was published in the April 19, 1996 Gazette:

Spring, do not come too early, Wait until the heartwood Is twisted and made gnarled By the gale. A young tree, blooming, shivers In returning cold. Even the yellow spice-bush withers And grows pale.
Spring, hold back the sun, Hold back the gentle rain, Let the wind blow greedy Gusts against the branches Until the treetops rattle And the buds are hard. Wait, spring, till the earth is ready For the flowering.

— Dionis Coffin Riggs


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