It’s almost spring

It's almost spring

It’s almost spring! Well, in the northern part of the world it is. Only a few more days until a new season begins. This inspires poets to write some beautiful words about the changing of the season.

It's almost spring

For many people spring is a new start. No wonder, because nature seems to come alive after a long sleep during winter. It is also the time that we consider to be important for animals. Remember the birds who lay their eggs in this season? Or the lambs that come out and play in the fields? All this combined is waiting to be described into an art form we call poetry.

And not to forget the flowers. How can anyone forget the flowers! If you live in a part of the world where it doesn’t snow (lucky you) there is no way to describe what snow does to a landscape. Looking at photos or videos isn’t the same as experiencing snow. Experiencing the blossoming of flowers in spring is also indescribable.

William Blake (1757-1827) was one of the many poets who wrote a poem about this season. In a form that reminds us of the poems that where written in the Middle-ages, Blake describes this season.


By William Blake

Sound the flute!
Now it’s mute!
Bird’s delight,
Day and night,
In the dale,
Lark in sky,—
Merrily merrily, to welcome in the year.

Little boy,
Full of joy;
Little girl,
Sweet and small;
Cock does crow,
So do you;
Merry voice,
Infant noise;
Merrily, merrily, to welcome in the year.

Little lamb,
Here I am;
Come and lick
My white neck;
Let me pull
Your soft wool;
Let me kiss
Your soft face;
Merrily, merrily, to welcome in the year.

Indeed, delightful! It makes one long for the spring, when reading this poem in a different season. Even the dark Emily Dickinson manages to point out the differences compared to other seasons. Number 85 was published in 1896, after she died. Some call this A light exists in spring, after the first line she wrote. Dickinson didn’t use any titles for her poems.

no. 85

By Emily Dickinson

A LIGHT exists in spring

Not present on the year

At any other period.

When March is scarcely here

A colour stands abroad

On solitary hills

That silence cannot overtake,

But human nature feels.

It waits upon the lawn;

It shows the furthest tree

Upon the furthest slope we know;

It almost speaks to me.

Then, as horizons step,

Or noons report away,

Without the formula of sound,

It passes, and we stay:

A quality of loss

Affecting our content,

As trade had suddenly encroached

Upon a sacrament.

Well, it’s still is Dickinson, with her darkness. She manage to combine spring with some darkness. A good job. Philip Larkin went a little bit further with his poem about spring, as he focussed on trees and how people grow old. This poem was published in 1974.

The Trees

By Philip Larkin

The trees are coming into leaf

Like something almost being said;

The recent buds relax and spread,

Their greenness is a kind of grief.

Is it that they are born again

And we grow old? No, they die too,

Their yearly trick of looking new

Is written down in rings of grain.

Yet still the unresting castles thresh

In fullgrown thickness every May.

Last year is dead, they seem to say,

Begin afresh, afresh, afresh.

Yes, again death. Combined with spring. It’s also what Christina Rossetti did in her poem called Spring.


By Christina Rossetti

Frost-locked all the winter,

Seeds, and roots, and stones of fruits,

What shall make their sap ascend

That they may put forth shoots?

Tips of tender green,

Leaf, or blade, or sheath;

Telling of the hidden life

That breaks forth underneath,

Life nursed in its grave by Death.

Blows the thaw-wind pleasantly,

Drips the soaking rain,

By fits looks down the waking sun:

Young grass springs on the plain;

Young leaves clothe early hedgerow trees;

Seeds, and roots, and stones of fruits,

Swollen with sap put forth their shoots;

Curled-headed ferns sprout in the lane;

Birds sing and pair again.

There is no time like Spring,

When life’s alive in everything,

Before new nestlings sing,

Before cleft swallows speed their journey back

Along the trackless track –

God guides their wing,

He spreads their table that they nothing lack, –

Before the daisy grows a common flower

Before the sun has power

To scorch the world up in his noontide hour.

There is no time like Spring,

Like Spring that passes by;

There is no life like Spring-life born to die, –

Piercing the sod,

Clothing the uncouth clod,

Hatched in the nest,

Fledged on the windy bough,

Strong on the wing:

There is no time like Spring that passes by,

Now newly born, and now

Hastening to die.

And so much for death! It’s time to end with a more positive poem:

Season Song


It is springtime, it is springtime

Winter’s gone, winter’s gone

Summer time is coming, summer time is coming

It won’t be long, it won’t be long.

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