Spring seems to awaken the senses of animals and people and generally lifts the spirits. It is fun to watch the rebirth of the plant world and play in the warm sunshine. It can be a turbulent time as well with wind and storms. There exists much lore and poetry about April and Spring. I’ve listed some of that below. I hope it strikes a chord with you!
APRIL WEATHER FOLKLORE
- Easter in snow, Christmas in mud; Christmas in snow, Easter in mud.
- When April blows his horn, It’s good for both the hay and corn.
- A windy March and a showery April makes a beautiful May.
- April snow is as good as lambs’s manure.
- Moist April brings a clear June.
- April 5th: If St. Vincent’s Day be fair, there will be more water than wine.
APRIL and SPRING POETRY AND EXERPTS
”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 come over the sunlit arch,
And wind comes off a frozen peak,
And you’re two months back in the middle of March.”
- Robert Frost, Two Tramps in Mud Time, 1926
“The April rain, the April rain,
Comes slanting down in fitful showers,
Then from the furrow shoots the grain,
And banks are fledged with nestling flowers;
And in grey shawl and woodland bowers
The cuckoo through the April rain
Calls once again.”
- Mathilde Blind, April Rain
“Sweet April showers
Do spring May flowers.”
- Thomas Tusser, A Hundred Good Points of Husbandry, 1557
“When the April wind wakes the call for the soil, I hold the plough as my only hold upon the earth, and, as I follow through the fresh and fragrant furrow, I am planted with every foot-step, growing, budding, blooming into a spirit of spring.”
- Dallas Lore Sharp, 1870-1929
“Hark, I hear a robin calling!
List, the wind is from the south!
And the orchard-bloom is falling
Sweet as kisses on the mouth.
In the dreamy vale of beeches
Fair and faint is woven mist,
And the river’s orient reaches
Are the palest amethyst.
Every limpid brook is singing
Of the lure of April days;
Every piney glen is ringing
With the maddest roundelays.
Come and let us seek together
Springtime lore of daffodils,
Giving to the golden weather
Greeting on the sun-warm hills.”
-”April is the cruelest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.”
- T. S. Eliot, The Waste Land, 1922 cy Maud Montgomery, Spring Song
“By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood,
And fired the shot heard round the world.
The foe long since in silence slept;
Alike the conqueror silent sleeps;
And Time the ruined bridge has swept
Down the dark stream which seaward creeps.
On this green bank, by this soft stream,
We set to-day a votive stone;
That memory may their deed redeem,
When, like our sires, our sons are gone.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson, Concord Hymn
“To what purpose, April, do you return again?
Beauty is not enough.
You can no longer quiet me with the redness
Of little leaves opening stickily.
I know what I know.
The sun is hot on my neck as I observe
The spikes of the crocus.
The smell of the earth is good.
It is apparent that there is no death.
But what does that signify?”
- Edna St. Vincent Millay, Spring
“Certain miracles that I beheld there have haunted my memory ever since: a gray April morning of sirocco, when the almond blossoms, the flaming tulips, the young green of the vines, hung as if painted on the motionless air; a summer night when the roses had an unearthly pallor under a half-eaten moon, whose ghostliness was somehow one with their perfume and with the phosphorescence of dew tipping their petals; a day when the trees stood part submerged in fog, into which leaves dropped slowly, slowly, one after another, and sank out of sight.
- H. G. Dwight, Gardens and Gardening, Atlantic Monthly, 1912
“A gush of bird song, a patter of dew
A cloud and a rainbow’s warning;
Suddenly sunshine and perfect blue
An April day in the morning!”
- Harriet Prescott Spofford
Laugh thy girlish laughter;
Then, the moment after,
Weep thy girlish tears.”
- Sir William Watson
“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.”
- William Shakespeare, Sonnet 98
“April hath put a spirit of youth in everything.”
- William Shakespeare
“When April scatters charms of primrose gold
Among the copper leaves in thickets old,
And singing skylarks from the meadows rise,
To twinkle like black stars in sunny skies;
When I can hear the small woodpecker ring
Time on a tree for all the birds that sing;
And hear the pleasant cuckoo, loud and long –
The simple bird that thinks two notes a song.”
- William Henry Davies, April’s Charms
“No Winter lasts forever, no Spring skips its turn. April is a promise that May is bound to keep, and we know it.”
- Hal Borland
“How many million Aprils came
before I ever knew
how white a cherry bough could be,
a bed of squills, how blue
And many a dancing April
when life is done with me,
will lift the blue flame of the flower
and the white flame of the tree
Oh burn me with your beauty then,
oh hurt me tree and flower,
lest in the end death try to take
even this glistening hour…”
- Sara Teasdale, Blue Squills, 1920
“In April, we cannot see sunflowers in France, so we might say the sunflowers do not exist. But the local farmers have already planted thousands of seeds, and when they look at the bare hills, they may be able to see the sunflowers already. The sunflowers are there. They lack only the conditions of sun, heat, rain and July. Just because we cannot see them does not mean that they do not exist.”
- Thich Nhat Hanh
You can always tell it’s April
By the sound of falling rain
That mystic, mournful music
As it trickles down the drain.
We’re told we should be thankful
For the kiss of April showers
As it washes all the grass clean
And prepares the soil for flowers.
There’s another side to April
Which doesn’t bode us good,
When that mini, manic maelstrom
Turns the lawn to liquid mud.”
- Thomas Vaughan Jones, O’ To Be in April
“Winter’s done, and April’s in the skies,
Earth, look up with laughter in your eyes!”
- Charles G. D. Roberts, An April Adoration, 1896
“Spring is the Period
Express from God.
Among the other seasons
But during March and April
None stir abroad
Without a cordial interview
- Emily Dickinson, Spring is the Period, #844
“This I saw on an April day:
Warm rain spilt from a sun-lined cloud,
A sky-flung wave of gold at evening,
And a cock pheasant treading a dusty path
Shy and proud.
And this I found in an April field:
A new white calf in the sun at noon,
A flash of blue in a cool moss bank,
And tips of tulips promising flowers
To a blue-winged loon.”
- James Hearst, In April
“April rain is here again;
Hear it pitter, pitter, patter,
On the leaves and on the trees,
See it spitter, spitter, spatter.
Rain, oh rain, don’t go away
We need you for flow’rs in May;
Drip, drip, drop and do not stop,
Send a little rain our way.”
- Nina B. Hartford, April Rain
This post was written by Tony Schumacher on April 4, 2012