April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
These, I, singing in spring, collect for lovers
Collecting, I traverse the garden, the world—but soon I pass the gates,
Now along the pond-side—now wading in a little, fearing not the wet …
Everything here is yellow and green
the ground, that winter nightmare,
has cured its sores and burst
with green birds and vitamins
The bees are flying. They taste the spring.
I took a broken root to fling
Where the proud, wayward squirrel went,
Taking delight that he could spring
Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers to-day;
For this is love and nothing else is love,
The which it is reserved for God above
Notes and Credits
T. S. Eliot, The Waste Land, ll. 1-4
Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass, #38, These, I, Singing in Spring, ll. 1, 4-5
Anne Sexton, It is a Spring Afternoon, ll. 1, 30-32
Sylvia Plath, Wintering, l. 50
W. B. Yeats, An Appointment, ll. 2-4
Robert Frost, A Prayer in Spring, ll. 1, 13-14
All the photos were taken by the writer in Prospect Park, Brooklyn – except for the white roses, which bloom every year in Tom and Laura’s backyard in Park Slope, Brooklyn. The squirrel is the most recent, taken as he chopped up and dropped leaves and twigs and flowers on all of us baseball parents while our children were at practice last week.
For the W. B. Yeats poem, I credit Jim Tolstrup, who posted on this poem and squirrels and anarchy a couple months ago.