First there is this from The Writer's Almanac:
Today is the first day of spring, the vernal equinox in the Northern Hemisphere. The Earth is tilted on its axis, so as it travels around the sun each pole is sometimes tilted toward the sun and sometimes tilted away. It is this tilt that causes the seasons, as well as the shortening and lengthening of daylight hours. On this day, the North and South Poles are equally distant from the sun, so we will have almost exactly the same amount of daytime as nighttime.
Emily Dickinson said:
"A little Madness in the Spring / Is wholesome even for the King."
Ralph Waldo Emerson said:
"Spring still makes spring in the mind,
When sixty years are told;
Love wakes anew this throbbing heart,
And we are never old."
Mark Twain said:
"It's spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you've got it, you want - oh, you don't quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!"
* * * *
And there is this poem, one that means the most to me on the first day of spring:
Here is a selection from Spring and All by William Carlos Williams (1923).
By the road to the contagious hospital
under the surge of the blue
mottled clouds driven from the
northeast -- a cold wind. Beyond, the
waste of broad, muddy fields
brown with dried weeds, standing and fallen
patches of standing water
the scattering of tall trees
All along the road the reddish
purplish, forked, upstanding, twiggy
stuff of bushes and small trees
with dead, brown leaves under them
leafless vines --
Lifeless in appearance, sluggish
dazed spring approaches --
They enter the new world naked,
cold, uncertain of all
save that they enter. All about them
the cold, familiar wind --
Now the grass, tomorrow
the stiff curl of wildcarrot leaf
One by one objects are defined --
It quickens: clarity, outline of leaf
But now the stark dignity of
entrance -- Still, the profound change
has come upon them: rooted they
grip down and begin to awaken
* * * * *
When I think of poems about spring, I almost always think first of the foregoing by William Carlos Williams. The poem's dramatic juxtaposition of "the contagious hospital" -- a scene of despair and death -- and the signs of renewal in the "sluggish dazed spring" leave me disturbed and hopeful; yes, for me, that paradox -- promise of renewed life in spite of the threatening presence of death -- speaks volumes about the human condition.
Well, now it is your turn. What poem about "sluggish dazed spring" do you think is most worth remembering today?