Waxing vernally poetical

April is National Poetry Month. It has been since the Academy of American Poets made it an official celebration back in 1996.

Every April publishers, booksellers, literary organizations, libraries, schools and poets around the country pool their resources to call people's attention to poetry and its importance in shaping our culture.

April was picked because event organizers felt that April, occurring as it does during the academic year, would make it possible for significant numbers of people to participate.

Ultimately, organizers hope that by calling attention to poetry during the monthlong celebration they will encourage people to read and write poetry all during the year.

Here in the Rogue Valley, local poets have risen to the occasion. Bloomsbury Books has been holding a number of poetry readings during the month. Public libraries and the library at Southern Oregon University have also hosted poetry events.

That ought to get everyone sufficiently enthused to go out and pen a poem or two. It worked for me. Here goes:


It's a cyclical ritual, this business of Spring.

Just when you think the Earth has finally Succumbed to the next ice age And forgotten what it was like to be warm, To be colorful — To be joyously not Winter — Spring comes along.

Tentatively, sometimes.

Unlike Autumn, Spring doesn't grab The current season and Fling it out of the calendar from One day to the next.There is the matter of decorum, Of respect for your elders, Of knowing when it is your time And when it is not.Spring asks for patience and faith And it rewards it with hope.

Spring is charged with making good On the promise Held night after freezing night That there will be days filled with light.

That the sky is indeed blue and not grey.

That rocks wriggle ever closer to The warmth of the surface Inch by annual inch.

It is Spring's special gift to Discover the new in the old.

To delight in the paradox of shoots Sprouting from the stumps of fallen trees.

All of creation becomes more childish Than would be tolerated in The other three seasons.

Flowers dress themselves in Outrageous raiment.

Rivers cavort recklessly down mountainsides Hurrying idling pebbles along.

Horses feel the urge to frolic, An urge that Winter held Frozen in their memories Along with the water in their troughs.

And bare feet of all ages Revel in the lush greenness of it all.

Summoned by the eager dawn chorus

The world awakens deliriously restless.

It's Spring.


Share This Story