Sunday, April 22, 2012

Green Effective Earth Day*


from Atalanta in Calydon
[Click to hear a longer section read aloud]

And the southwest-wind and the west-wind sing.
For winter's rains and ruins are over,
And all the season of snows and sins;
The days dividing lover and lover,
The light that loses, the night that wins;
And time remembered is grief forgotten,
And frosts are slain and flowers begotten,
And in green underwood and cover
Blossom by blossom the spring begins.

Algernon Charles Swinburne
(1837 - 1909)


Speaking of spring rain ("shoures soote") and flowers begotten ("engendred is the flour"), could Swinburne have been thinking of Chaucer when he wrote the above stanza? Click here to read the Prologue to the Canterbury Tales. Perhaps back in high school or college, you had to memorize the opening lines in Middle English or a modern translation. Here's an easier idea ~ my minimalist version:

April showers: Sweet! Radical!
Relief from March
Flowers, vines, veins, wine
Zephyr: Breath of Life
Celestial Ram
Melodic lark
Follow the West Wind;
Follow Your Heart!

*See the poem
"Permanently"
by Kenneth Koch

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