Monday, April 13, 2015

April Midnight - Arthur Symons

Side by side through the streets at midnight,
Roaming together,
Through the tumultuous night of London,
In the miraculous April weather.

Roaming together under the gaslight,
Day's work over,
How the Spring calls to us, here in the city,
Calls to the heart from the heart of a lover!

Cool to the wind blows, fresh in our faces,
Cleansing, entrancing,
After the heat and the fumes and the footlights,
Where you dance and I watch your dancing.

Good it is to be here together,
Good to be roaming,
Even in London, even at midnight,
Lover-like in a lover's gloaming.

You the dancer and I the dreamer,
Children together,
Wandering lost in the night of London,
In the miraculous April weather.

In the miraculous April weather indeed.  So far this April, barely two weeks in, we've had snow here in Connecticut, as well as a few lovely warm days.  The robins must have been rather confused, but it is a miraculous time of year.  My brother said today that everything smells alive, and it most certainly does.  I've only been in London in the fall, but given Arthur Symon's utterly hypnotic and boundlessly jubilant poem, I certainly would like to be there in the spring, too.

First off, while the poem is set in April in London at midnight, it is first and foremost a love poem.  Love is the spring which doesn't die, which makes the April weather miraculous.  "Good it is to be here together" is a lover's tonic and daily bread.  Any place is good if you're together and in love.  Still, we can't overlook the part that April itself plays in this magical moment.

The wind of April is cleansing and entrancing, cool.  We get the sense that this wind is renewing and healing, even if as much as that isn't explicitly stated.  It's set in opposition to the heat and grind of work in a city.  Spring can invade any city, even London, which in the late 1800s when Symons was writing, was the city by which all others in the world were judged.  If spring can creep into even that city, "even in London, even at midnight" then it can be everywhere.  Even for those of us who are alone right now, are we really when it's midnight at April, outside?  I feel like the magic of the season can unite us all.  I know that sounds hokey, but when the cool breeze blows with just the faintest whiff of flower, and the tiniest hint of coming warmth, I can't help but feel part of a larger experience than just my own.

1 comment:

  1. i would like to be in the fall of the midnight in your poem.