After April

In England Now

In England Now, Secret Garden, Stainborough  by Su

when May follows’

A late April afternoon stroll, a mild gentle breeze heavily laden with blossom petals, saw me spouting poetry.

‘After April when May follows’, my companion didn’t seem to recall the poem, and me only in snatches,…’In England Now’, it’s refrain…..

’This is the weather the cuckoo likes, and so do I’,  didn’t seem to fit the rhyme.

Once home I checked them out, the lines were from two separate poems! ‘Home thoughts from abroad’, Robert Browning, and ‘Weathers’, Thomas Hardy.  Each  poem encapsulating all that is glorious about spring, the earth’s rising energies, its flowers and shrubs demanding  attention with  their  sudden awakening, fresh vibrant buds,  blossoms in abundance, delicately perfumed,  lasting only a few days, their transient nature potentially intensifying our enjoyment of them, ‘Visions’, Seigfried Sassoon, that wistful poignant feeling, if for any reason this season’s show passed us by.

The Japanese celebrate the blossoms transient nature as symbolic of the transient nature of human experience. The festival of Hanami, sees the Japanese, weather watching. The festival is not held on a set day each year. The blossoms dictate when the Japanese celebrate. In a nation renowned for their punctuality and precision, an interesting obeisance  to nature.

 Although I had many favourites poems whilst very young, their impact remains until today,  often when in ‘pensive mood’ a rhyme or couplet  returns to inspire me once again. I also like more contemporary poetry including rap, but time to read them frequently eludes me.

Perhaps the hazy days of summer yet to arrive, might see me making time to peruse poetry, ’outside at the Traveller’s Rest’ as ‘ maids come forth sprig muslin dressed’


Home thoughts from Abroad

                                 Robert Browning

Oh, to be in England,
Now that April’s there,
And whoever wakes in England
Sees, some morning, unaware,
That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf
Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf,
While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough In England – now!
And after April, when May follows,
And the whitethroat builds, and all the swallows –
Hark! where my blossomed pear-tree in the hedge
Leans to the field and scatters on the clover
Blossoms and dewdrops – at the bent spray’s edge –
That’s the wise thrush; he sings each song twice over,
Lest you should think he never could recapture
The first fine careless rapture!
And though the fields look rough with hoary dew,
All will be gay when noontide wakes anew
The buttercups, the little children’s dower,
– Far brighter than this gaudy melon-flower