In today’s Thoughtful Thursday we celebrate Spring. It’s been a harsh winter for us all, and we are looking forward to the rebirth and renewal that comes with the Spring season. As the grass grows green and the flowers bloom, let’s hope that the nation can slowly awaken from its long hibernation and look forward to what comes next.
Here are three poems to help us welcome Spring. From Claude McCay (1889-1948) we have “After the Winter”, from Jamaal May (b. 1982) we have “I Have This Way of Being”, and from e.e.cummings (1894-1962) (we have “Spring is Like a Perhaps Hand” (Yes, we focus on African American poets, but I love e.e.cummings so I had to throw him in the mix.). Share these poems with your children and enjoy.
After the Winter
Some day, when trees have shed their leaves
And against the morning’s white
The shivering birds beneath the eaves
Have sheltered for the night,
We’ll turn our faces southward, love,
Toward the summer isle
Where bamboos spire to shafted grove
And wide-mouthed orchids smile.
And we will seek the quiet hill
Where towers the cotton tree,
And leaps the laughing crystal rill,
And works the droning bee.
And we will build a cottage there
Beside an open glade,
With black-ribbed blue-bells blowing near,
And ferns that never fade.
I Have This Way of Being
I have this, and this isn’t a mouth
full of the names of odd flowers
I’ve grown in secret.
I know none of these by name
but have this garden now,
and pastel somethings bloom
near the others and others.
I have this trowel, these overalls,
this ridiculous hat now.
This isn’t a lung full of air.
Not a fist full of weeds that rise
yellow then white then windswept.
This is little more than a way
to kneel and fill gloves with sweat,
so that the trowel in my hand
will have something to push against,
rather, something to push
against that it knows will bend
and give and return as sprout
and petal and sepal and bloom.
Spring is Like a Perhaps Hand
Spring is like a perhaps hand
(which comes carefully
out of Nowhere) arranging
a window,into which people look (while
arranging and changing placing
carefully there a strange
thing and a known thing here)and
changing everything carefully
spring is like a perhaps
Hand in a window
and fro moving New and
Old things, while
people stare carefully
moving a perhaps
fraction of flower here placing
an inch of air there)and
without breaking anything.