It turns out that the machines that awoke me this morning did so a mere 15 minutes or so after this year's vernal equinox. Had I only known, I might have gotten up and posted this earlier.

Here's my usual spring-equinox quote:

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" (1865)

Here an older piece of spring verse:

Though a country be sundered, hills and rivers endure;

And spring comes green again to trees and grasses

Where petals have been shed like tears

And lonely birds have sung their grief.

--Tu Fu, from "A Spring View" (c. 750), trans. Witter Bynner

And a bit of spring Frost:

Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers to-day;

And give us not to think so far away

As the uncertain harvest; keep us here

All simply in the springing of the year.

--Robert Frost, from "A Prayer in Spring" (1915)

A more recent snippet:

now, the flowers are fresh and plentiful

time to wash windows, strip off winter's forgetfulness,

come to terms and to some kind of truce

--Margaret James, from "March 18" (2007)

The same about.com section where I got the above pieces also includes a very brief 2007 poem by Larissa Shmailo called "Spring Vow," which I won't reproduce here for copyright reasons. [Link updated in 2018.]

. . . Also, as I mentioned last year: for more spring versifying, see my 2002 equinox entry (featuring Horace/Housman and a link to Eliot) and Twig's 2008 equinox entry (featuring Mahler and Roethke).

One Response to “Equinoctial”

  1. Mary Anne Mohanraj

    I’m going to lose formatting here, which is a shame, but ah well….

    in just-

    in Just-
    spring when the world is mud-
    luscious the little
    lame balloonman
    whistles far and wee
    and eddieandbill come
    running from marbles and
    piracies and it’s
    when the world is puddle-wonderful
    the queer
    old balloonman whistles
    far and wee
    and bettyandisbel come dancing
    from hop-scotch and jump-rope and
    balloonMan whistles

    e.e. cummings


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