Well, it’s officially five days into spring. To celebrate the hopeful end of snowstorms in the east and the coming of April showers in the west, today we’re sharing some of our favorite springtime poetry.
Lines Written in Early Spring
by William Wordsworth
I heard a thousand blended notes,
While in a grove I sate reclined,
In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts
Bring sad thoughts to the mind.
To her fair works did Nature link
The human soul that through me ran;
And much it grieved my heart to think
What man has made of man.
Through primrose tufts, in that green bower,
The periwinkle trailed its wreaths;
And ’tis my faith that every flower
Enjoys the air it breathes.
The birds around me hopped and played,
Their thoughts I cannot measure:–
But the least motion which they made
It seemed a thrill of pleasure.
The budding twigs spread out their fan,
To catch the breezy air;
And I must think, do all I can,
That there was pleasure there.
If this belief from heaven be sent,
If such be Nature’s holy plan,
Have I not reason to lament
What man has made of man?
A little madness in the Spring
by Emily Dickinson
A little madness in the Spring
Is wholesome even for the King,
But God be with the Clown —
Who ponders this tremendous scene —
This whole Experiment of Green —
As if it were his own!
Poem to Spring in a Time of Global Warming
by Michael Graves
The withholding spring,
The miser-like who will not spend
The wealth of warmth and light,
Or open up the long-denied,
Season most desired,
Salve for the wind and ice oppressed,
Is like a god
Who will not send a sacred child,
But unlike an omnipotent deity
Spring is neither doubted in its essence
Nor blasphemed against
By those who suffer winter’s bite.
After the Winter
by Claude McKay
Some day, when trees have shed their leaves
And against the morning’s white
The shivering birds beneath the eaves
Have sheltered for the night,
We’ll turn our faces southward, love,
Toward the summer isle
Where bamboos spire the shafted grove
And wide-mouthed orchids smile.
And we will seek the quiet hill
Where towers the cotton tree,
And leaps the laughing crystal rill,
And works the droning bee.
And we will build a cottage there
Beside an open glade,
With black-ribbed blue-bells blowing near,
And ferns that never fade.
by A.E. Housman
Star and coronal and bell
April underfoot renews,
And the hope of man as well
Flowers among the morning dews.
Now the old come out to look,
Winter past and winter’s pains,
How the sky in pool and brook
Glitters on the grassy plains.
Easily the gentle air
Wafts the turning season on;
Things to comfort them are there,
Though ’tis true the best are gone.
Now the scorned unlucky lad
Rousing from his pillow gnawn
Mans his heart and deep and glad
Drinks the valiant air of dawn.
Half the night he longed to die,
Now are sown on hill and plain
Pleasures worth his while to try
Ere he longs to die again.
Blue the sky from east to west
Arches, and the world is wide,
Though the girl he loves the best
Rouses from another’s side.
Light Advancing Through Trees
by Ruth Hill
White papyrus reflects the pink, then yellow dawn.
Buds are tight, not yet open.
Blue is bright, not yet summer.
Creek is gurgling, not yet melted.
Red willow bark, not yet olive.
The entire world looks brown: old grasses, dead ferns.
Entire trees are grey, no in-between green.
Yet the hope, the thrill, anticipation leaps
inside you, the source of your liveliness.
Newborn calves kick up their heels.
Hands reach in reflex, remembering your bicycle.
End of all endings, beginning of all beginnings,
this is a soul dawn, this one morning.
An icicle drips; your whole being celebrates.
by William Shakespeare
From you have I been absent in the spring
When proud-pied April, dress’d in all his trim,
Hath put a spirit of youth in every thing,
That heavy Saturn laugh’d and leap’d with him.
Yet nor the lays of birds, nor the sweet smell
Of different flowers in odour and in hue,
Could make me any summer’s story tell,
Or from their proud lap pluck them where they grew:
Nor did I wonder at the lily’s white,
Nor praise the deep vermilion in the rose;
They were but sweet, but figures of delight,
Drawn after you, you pattern of all those.
Yet seem’d it winter still, and you away,
As with your shadow I with these did play.
The Morning After
by Steve Meador
The peonies are hung-over again,
dew-drunk from loitering in the moonlight,
after taunting the crab apples and redbuds
for having bloomed too soon after the snow.
Lashing out at the daylilies for their dysfunctional
shriveling from a single day of romance with sunlight,
and castigating those whores, the crocus, for being teased
into blossom by a few warm February rays, has become a ritual.
The mornings are now beautiful sermons.
On a manger of mulch, the peonies seem
to be sleeping. Through the sip and swallow of my hot coffee
I thought I heard a hiss or whisper.
It may have been the dogwood,
perhaps the hydrangea, saying to the lilac,
“Look at those pink dumb-asses.
That’s what happens when you get a big head.
by Billy Collins
If ever there were a spring day so perfect,
so uplifted by a warm intermittent breeze
that it made you want to throw
open all the windows in the house
and unlatch the door to the canary’s cage,
indeed, rip the little door from its jamb,
a day when the cool brick paths
and the garden bursting with peonies
seemed so etched in sunlight
that you felt like taking
a hammer to the glass paperweight
on the living room end table,
releasing the inhabitants
from their snow-covered cottage
so they could walk out,
holding hands and squinting
into this larger dome of blue and white,
well, today is just that kind of day.
by John Milton
How soon hath Time, the subtle thief of youth,
Stol’n on his wing my three-and-twentieth year!
My hasting days fly on with full career,
But my late spring no bud or blossom shew’th.
Perhaps my semblance might deceive the truth
That I to manhood am arriv’d so near;
And inward ripeness doth much less appear,
That some more timely-happy spirits endu’th.
Yet be it less or more, or soon or slow,
It shall be still in strictest measure ev’n
To that same lot, however mean or high,
Toward which Time leads me, and the will of Heav’n:
All is, if I have grace to use it so
As ever in my great Task-Master’s eye.