Tuesday, April 8, 2008

April poems

April is National Poetry Month, and I've been helping a librarian put together a display of poems about April. It's a month of potential. It is April that "with his shoures soote/The droughte of March hath perced to the roote" (Chaucer, General Prologue to the Canterbury Tales). It is, of course, "the cruelest month, breeding/lilacs out of the dead land, mixing/Memory and desire, stirring/Dull roots with spring rain" (Eliot, The Waste Land). But "Oh, to be in England, Now that April's there" (Browning, Home Thoughts From Abroad). It is a month remarkable for its changeability:
The sun was warm but the wind was chill.
You know how it is with an April day
When the sun is out and the wind is still,
You're one month on in the middle of May.
But if you so much as dare to speak,
A cloud comes over the sunlit arch,
A wind comes off a frozen peak,
And you're two months back in the middle of March.
Frost, Two Tramps in Mud Time
April is also a metaphor for renewal, rebirth, even love: "thy body to me is april/in whose armpits is the approach of spring" (e.e. cummings, my love).

If you sign up at
you can get a poem sent to you every day for the rest of this month.

1 comment:

Cschu said...

Wow! I'd never heard that Frost poem. I don't think it really describes April in some other (more civilized, at least with respect to weather) places, but it certainly does in Ohio.

This is why I always say that I never count on it being spring until May around here. I'm not sure whether I like the poem, as it reminds me of the thing I like least about my life. But it is SO APT.