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Friday, May 29, 2015

Spring, the sweet spring - Thomas Nashe

Spring, the sweet spring, is the year's pleasant king,
Then blooms each thing, then maids dance in a ring,
Cold doth not sting, the pretty birds do sing:
     Cuckoo, jug-jug, pu-we, to-witta-woo!

The palm and may make country horses gay,
Lambs frisk and play, the shepherds pipe all day,
And we hear aye birds tune this merry lay:
     Cuckoo, jug-jug, pu-we, to-witta-woo!

The fields breathe sweet, the daisies kiss our feet,
Young lovers meet, old wives a-sunning sit,
In every street these tunes our ears do greet:
     Cuckoo, jug-jug, pu-we, to-witta-woo!
          Spring, the sweet spring!










What an outpouring of love for spring Thomas Nashe had!  The birds are singing their cuckoos and to-wiita-woos and the world seems sunny and pleasant for a time.  It's the season of love for young and old, and everywhere you go, the sound of birds.  I seem to have unintentionally made a theme of spring this week, readers, and with how pleasant the weather has been, I think I can see why!  Enjoy it, and this incredibly sunny, springy, joyful poem.

2 comments:

  1. This is the poem that says everything about Spring to me.


    Spring
    By Gerard Manley Hopkins
    Nothing is so beautiful as Spring –
    When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush;
    Thrush’s eggs look little low heavens, and thrush
    Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring
    The ear, it strikes like lightnings to hear him sing;
    The glassy peartree leaves and blooms, they brush
    The descending blue; that blue is all in a rush
    With richness; the racing lambs too have fair their fling.

    What is all this juice and all this joy?
    A strain of the earth’s sweet being in the beginning
    In Eden garden. – Have, get, before it cloy,
    Before it cloud, Christ, lord, and sour with sinning,
    Innocent mind and Mayday in girl and boy,
    Most, O maid’s child, thy choice and worthy the winning.

    Every Spring I find myself saying 'What is all this juice and all this joy?' and 'Weeds in wheels shoot long and lovely and lush' and most of all the simple put-it-all-out-there statement of the first line.

    I notice that your profile has changed to being a returned traveller. Is that why spring is striking you so strongly, because you are back in your homeland?

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    Replies
    1. Yes, I think you're right to say that's why. Being back in my homeland for seasons that I missed there last year is evocative and I find myself unable to get spring itself out of my mind. Even though the seasons half a world away from home were shockingly similar at times to the ones I grew up knowing, it's different being back with new eyes, so to speak.

      The Hopkins poem is wonderful. I feel similarly about his poem "Spring and Fall to a Young Child" whenever it's autumn. The phrase "Goldengrove unleaving" comes to mind when I see the foliage start to shed. He had an incredible way with memorable phrases.

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