In just-

Hey! Happy vernal equinox, everyone!

In fact, the equinox was about half an hour ago ago as I type this, if I'm understanding right. I got that info from a little NPR tidbit about the whole egg-balancing thing.

It's long been my tradition to send out a mass email on the first day of spring containing one of my favorite verses of poetry. This year, gonna break from tradition and post here instead. Easier than all that emailing, though sometimes the email has the nice effect of temporarily putting me back in touch with folks who I tend to lose touch with.

Last year, I added a couple of other verses to the Swinburne. One of them ("Vernal Sentiment," by Theodore Roethke, from Words for the Wind) is probably still in copyright, so I won't post it here. The Housman is probably out of copyright, though, so I'll still include it. And though I won't post Eliot here, I'll point you to a probably-illicit copy of "spring is like a perhaps hand," which I hadn't ever encountered before; nice.

It hasn't been the best possible winter in various ways, but overall for me not too bad. But I'm always happy to see the arrival of spring, even if it's not so obvious here in California. (I never saw a crocus before college, and I still can only intellectually grasp the near-religious awe in which my east-coasterner friends hold them.)


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 remember'd 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, from "Atalanta in Calydon"

The snows are fled away, leaves on their shaws

And grasses in the mead renew their birth.

The river to the river-bed withdraws,

And altered is the fashion of the earth.

—Horace, by way of Housman

And to close, from Akhenaten's hymn to the sun (translated by someone unknown to me): "You graciously appear, and the darkness vanishes and all beings rejoice."

Join the Conversation