Every spring, for the last 28 years, my husband and I go to the Cotswolds in England and wander the hills covered in white, flowering May Trees. This year we won’t be going, but…
O, to be in England Now that April ‘s [t]here,
And whoever wakes in England
Sees, some morning, unaware,
That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf
Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf,
While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough
And after April, when May follows,
And the whitethroat builds, and all the swallows!
Hark, where my blossom’d pear-tree in the hedge
Leans to the field and scatters on the clover
Blossoms and dewdrops—at the bent spray’s edge—
That ‘s the wise thrush; he sings each song twice over,
Lest you should think he never could recapture
The first fine careless rapture!
And though the fields look rough with hoary dew,
All will be gay when noontide wakes anew
The buttercups, the little children’s dower
—Far brighter than this gaudy melon-flower!
4 responses to “One Poem at a Time -2-”
NOTHING is so beautiful as spring—
When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush;
Thrush’s eggs look little low heavens, and thrush
Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring
The ear, it strikes like lightnings to hear him sing;
The glassy peartree leaves and blooms, they brush
The descending blue; that blue is all in a rush
With richness; the racing lambs too have fair their fling.
What is all this juice and all this joy?
A strain of the earth’s sweet being in the beginning
In Eden garden.—Have, get, before it cloy,
Before it cloud, Christ, lord, and sour with sinning,
Innocent mind and Mayday in girl and boy,
Most, O maid’s child, thy choice and worthy the winning.
— Gerard Manley Hopkins
Three Spring Notations on Bipeds
by Carl Sandburg
The down drop of the blackbird,
The wing catch of arrested flight,
The stop midway and then off: off for triangles, circles, loops of new hieroglyphs—
This is April’s way: a woman:
“O yes, I’m here again and your heart
knows I was coming.”
White pigeons rush at the sun,
A marathon of wing feats is on:
“Who most loves danger? Who most loves wings? Who somersaults for God’s sake in the name of wing power in the sun and blue on an April Thursday.”
So ten winged heads, ten winged feet, race their white forms over Elmhurst.
They go fast: once the ten together were a feather of foam bubble, a chrysanthemum whirl speaking to silver and azure.
The child is on my shoulders.
In the prairie moonlight the child’s legs hang over my shoulders.
She sits on my neck and I hear her calling me a good horse.
She slides down—and into the moon silver of a prairie stream
She throws a stone and laughs at the clug-clug.
I LOVE POETRY MONTH!
“a chrysanthemum whirl speaking to silver and azure”