April tends to be an eventful month around here, sometimes in a good way, sometimes in a not-so-good way. This April has been more challenging than most–work issues, health issues, money issues, and most recently, communication issues (two days without phone service to our landline). At times like this, accentuating the positive becomes a necessary coping strategy. So on the up side, the weather is currently mild and pleasant, the opening spring flowers are lovely, my WIP continues to surprise me in a good way, and it’s National Poetry Month. As poetry is one of my great loves, I usually make more of a to-do about it and much sooner, but better late than never!
So here’s an offering by A. E. Housman, who’s become the poet I tend to associate most with Easter even though this particular poem isn’t an Easter poem, per se, despite the reference in the first stanza. But the delicate tinge of melancholy and the underlying awareness of human mortality and beauty’s transience makes it strangely apposite for this holiday and this season.
Loveliest of Trees
Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide.
Now, of my threescore years and ten,
Twenty will not come again,
And take from seventy springs a score,
It only leaves me fifty more.
And since to look at things in bloom
Fifty springs are little room,
About the woodlands I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow.
–A. E. Housman (1859-1936)