March 21, 2008

Poetry Friday: Dubious Spring

Christina Rossetti began writing poetry at the age of seven, and though most of her well-known poetry is complex and strange (for instance her best known Goblin Market), or of a deeply sentimental 19th century religious bent, there are the rare simple poems, and these speak to me most.

This selection was chosen specially in honor of the fact that we have, indeed, had word that the Spring of the year is ...springing. Despite the snow and rain and wild weather forecast for the Eastern part of the U.S. and the UK; despite the snowstorm that closed freeways in Arizona, despite the weather chaos that continues to rampage, it's Spring.

Close your eyes and believe...

The First Spring Day

I wonder if the sap is stirring yet,
If wintry birds are dreaming of a mate,
If frozen snowdrops feel as yet the sun
And crocus fires are kindling one by one:
    Sing, robin, sing;
I still am sore in doubt concerning Spring.

I wonder if the springtide of this year
Will bring another Spring both lost and dear;
If heart and spirit will find out their Spring,
Or if the world alone will bud and sing:
    Sing, hope, to me;
Sweet notes, my hope, soft notes for memory.

The sap will surely quicken soon or late,
The tardiest bird will twitter to a mate;
So Spring must dawn again with warmth and bloom,
Or in this world, or in the world to come:
    Sing, voice of Spring,
Till I too blossom and rejoice and sing.

I'm all for blossoming and rejoicing! If you celebrate, Happy Purim and Happy Easter - hope you have a wonderfully renewing weekend. Wild Rose Reader is hosting today's Poetry Friday.


Mary Lee said...

"I still am sore in doubt concerning Spring."

Yeah, me, too! I know it's out there somewhere, just not here. I heard the cherries have already bloomed in D.C.! We still have dirty snow drifts around the edges of parking lots.

Sigh. She'll come when I'm least expecting her, so I'll try not to look so hard...

jama said...

What a lovely poem! Spring has definitely come to my neck of the woods. Saw a couple of those cherry trees blossoming last weekend in D.C. Have an uplifting weekend!

MmeT said...

Personally, my sap is rising but there's a blizzard outside my door. I am feeling very, very, very sorry for myself. The word for snowdrop in French is perce-neige (snow piercer). Any perce-neige in my neck of the woods is going to need extra vitamins, a diet of spinach, and some weight training.

tanita✿davis said...

I think it's like that watched pot syndrome... Spring's not coming because we're staring out the window.

This is the plan:
Eat the heads off a few chocolate rabbits. Play a few notes on the piano. Read a book. Pace.

Then go back and look.
Something will have changed...

Sarah Stevenson said...

I'm trying very, very hard to send you some of our Spring--our purple-leaf plum is full of blossoms--but it's very hard to fit Spring into an e-mail...

Anonymous said...

She suggests singing several times, but even if she didn't, this poem begs to be sung...

I'm ready for blossoming and rejoicing, too!

Jennifer R. Hubbard said...

Every year it's the same: it always seems colder than it should be, while the crocuses and cherry blossoms are bravely opening. Every year I'm "sore in doubt," hunting out each new blossom with desperate hope. And then suddenly everything's blooming, some moment when I blinked.

Andromeda Jazmon said...

How sweet and lovely! Your photo is the perfect companion to this poem. It's cold here but there are definitely stirrings, sap movement and singing going on..