In Spring, Do This

The rain has fallen all night. And today it is spring. Today begins that season, “when the world is mudluscious” and “the goat-footed balloonman whistles far and wee.” It is spring “when my heart with pleasure fills and dances with the daffodils.” Well…..as soon as the flood is over, I’ll do that dancing anyway.

Poems about spring seem to reside in two camps: songs to its pleasures or odes to its mortal reminders. The e.e. cummings (“in Just”) and Wordsworth (“The Daffodils”) poems quoted above exist in the first camp. In the second camp are poems like Anne Sexton’s (“It is a Spring Afternoon”) where she hopes that “Surely spring will allow a girl without a stitch on to turn softly in her sunlight and not be afraid of her bed.”

In spring everything is alive and bursting with life, at the same time, that energy is a refusal of death. Every moment is necessary and full. Everything is awake. “No one is sleeping in this world.  No one, no one. I have said it before. No one is sleeping. But if someone grows too much moss on his temples during the night, open the stage trapdoors so he can see in the moonlight the lying goblets, and the poison, and the skull of the theaters.” (Federico Garcia Lorca—“City That Does Not Sleep.”)

The plants of spring “enter the new world naked, cold, uncertain of all save that they enter.” (William Carlos Williams-“Spring and All”). In spring, go play in the rain. In spring, go out at 3 a.m. in the moonlight, far from any lights of a city or town and lie down in a pasture and look at the stars.

In spring, watch how a child experiences the world.

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.

(from Carl Sandburg’s “Three Spring Notations on Bipeds”)

–Shaun Perkins

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5 thoughts on “In Spring, Do This

  1. The coming and going of all of this (very welcome) rain has definitely made for a beautiful skyline in Oklahoma City. My evening commutes have been very distracting! I love your introduction to spring!

  2. amyshy says:

    “in Just” is my favorite springtime poem. I was just thinking about it the other day as I contemplated a spring equinox layout for my art journal, but I feel like we missed the “mudluscious” part of spring here in IL. We went right from snow to 80 degrees in 2 weeks!

    I am loving all the sunshine, but I’d like it to drop a degree or 15.

    But we certainly have the life bursting everywhere, and it is glorious.

    • rompoetry says:

      Amy, thanks for the comment! We have the bursting everywhere syndrome here, also. After over 24-hours of constant rain, the world looks crisy celery green out there.

  3. rompoetry says:

    Thank you, Jeannie! As I write, it has been raining nonstop for 19 hours. I can SEE the plants growing.

  4. Jeannie says:

    Lovely post…I miss the Oklahoma Spring–the smells! The budding Red-buds! The birds! Especially again–the smell. There’s nothing like the smell of Oklahoma earth in the Spring :)

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