April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
Winter kept us warm, covering
Earth in forgetful snow, feeding
A little life with dried tubers.
Every April, I herald the arrival National Poetry Month in what TS Eliot called “the cruellest month.” The first few lines of this much longer monumental work speak strongly to me, not only for the herculean task of Spring wresting life out of the cold hands of Winter, but how it truly defines my own series of personal springs – stirring my own “dull roots” back to productive life.
April is also National Humor Month, the light side to my sometimes poetic dark side – again, speaking to me at the root of who I am. And it is no coincidence that I have chosen this month, this year, for even more literal head-to-to reinvention, starting with those dull roots pushing through my scalp. Whether I’ve been walking around with a headful of dried tubers is probably overworking the metaphor. Or the analogy. Could even be a bunch of similes trying to sprout on my head.
So, I officially welcome you to the 2019 Edition of The Cruelest Month, my attempt to keep up with the poem-a-day concept of NAPOWRIMO. as well as share some humor — not necessarily combined. I’m sure something will touch on the fact that, as an April baby, I get to hear the Beatles singing “When I’m 64” ad nauseum in my head all month long.
The Work of Spring
Resurrects the anxiety of of unfinished business
laid to rest back in December,
Persephone demanding sunlight and fruit.
Renews purpose of earth and spirit
with temptations of growth and pleasure
to soften the bittersweetness of harvest.
©2019 Noreen Braman