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Springtime captured in poetry

Springtime captured in poetry

Springtime captured in poetry

Spring: beautiful, hopeful and a great source of inspiration for poets...

I am currently at my home in Ireland, and my goodness do we feel the chill here! But in the past week or two, there have been glimpses of glorious blue skies and dazzling sunrays, and what a difference that makes.

More stirring still is the sight of all the new shoots and buds. We have daffodils in bloom, along with crocuses and snowdrops. Leaves are budding on the trees, and one tree is already in blossom. Each day I do a ‘spring watch’ walk outside and look for new signs of the season; yesterday I saw my first bumble bee, a big, fat one buzzing happily as he explored some blossom, and I was so glad to see him.

‘A light exists in spring’ wrote the poet Emily Dickinson, and how right she was – a light in the air, but also in the mood, the heart. This is just one of many poetic quotations which inspire me in the transition into springtime. Today, I would like to share more of my favourites with you. I hope that they will warm whatever chill you may feel today and remind you that we are on the cusp of a time of light and beauty.

 

When daisies pied and violets blue

And lady-smocks all silver-white

And cuckoo-buds of yellow hue

Do paint the meadows with delight

– Shakespeare, Love’s Labour’s Lost

*

Calm was the even, and clear was the sky,

And the new budding flowers did spring

­– John Dryden, An Evening’s Love

 

 

And the Spring arose on the garden fair,

And the Spirit of Love fell everywhere;

And each flower and herb on Earth’s dark breast

Rose from the dreams of its wintry rest…

– Percy Bysshe Shelley, ‘The Sensitive Plant’

*

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. 

­– Gerard Manley Hopkins, ‘Spring’

 

 

But the warm sun thaws the benumbed earth,

And makes it tender; gives a sacred birth

To the dead swallow; wakes in hollow tree

The drowsy cuckoo, and the humble-bee.

Now do a choir of chirping minstrels bring

In triumph to the world the youthful Spring.

– Thomas Carew, ‘The Spring’

*

Earth is a wintry clod;

But spring-wind, like a dancing psaltress, passes

Over its breast to awaken it; rare verdure

Buds tenderly upon rough banks, between

The withered tree-roots and the cracks of frost,

Like a smile striving with a wrinkled face…

And God renews His ancient rapture.

– Robert Browning, ‘Paracelsus’

 

 

St. Valentine’s Day, with its fluttering hearts,

Is over and gone for the year,

Yet Love is still busily plying his darts,

For springtime, glad springtime, is here…

– Robert Bruce, ‘The Advent of Spring’

 

Of course, as Henry Van Dyke wrote, ‘The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is another.’ And so finally, for those moments when it seems that spring yet remains distant, remember the Chinese proverb, ‘Spring is sooner recognized by plants than by people.’ And keep in mind this verse:

 

Spring comes little, a little. All April it rains.

The new leaves stick in their fists; new ferns still fiddleheads.

But one day the swifts are back. Face to the sun like a child

You shout, ‘The swifts are back!’

– Anne Stevenson, ‘Swifts’

 

 


Photo credits: 1) Artens/Shutterstock; 2) Yoksel/Unsplash; 3) Simon Berger/Unsplash; 4) Art Wall/Unsplash; 5) Jasmin Junger/Unsplash.

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Ray Getzinger
Ray Getzinger
3 months ago

These are remarkable, verse and flowers. I am going to have to share this with my granddaughter, an amateur poet. She once wrote a poem for a challenge. She asked me to give her five word she could use to write a poem. She made a beautiful verse including all five of the words that I had picked at random.