April is National Poetry Month, and I plan to post one poem per day, every day this month (If you have a favorite poem that you'd like me to share, feel free to email it to me).
My poetry suggestions are starting to run dry, which means I will start posting my own favorites (but you've seen many of those already) or you can send me your favorite poems, which I probably haven't read before! Today's poem was suggested by "The Ridger", a long-time reader who was inspired by yesterday's photoessay (the images I snapped for that were taken with a digital camera that was her Christmas gift to me). She writes; "[This poem is] from the 1945 book edited by John S. Barnes, called 'A Stone, A Leaf, A Door' which revealed the poetry inherent in the novelist's magical prose."
Autumn was kind to them,
Winter was long to them --
But in April, late April,
All the gold sang.
Spring came that year like magic,
Like music, and like song.
One day its breath was in the air,
A haunting premonition of its spirit
Filled the hearts of men
With its transforming loveliness,
Working its sudden and icredible sorcery
Upon grey streets, grey pavements,
And on grey faceless tides of manswarm ciphers.
It came like music faint and far,
It came with triumph,
And a sound of singing in the air,
With lutings of sweet bird-cries
At the break of day
And the high, swift passing of a wing,
And one day it was there
Upon the city streets
With a strange, sudden cry of green,
Its sharp knife of wordless joy and pain.
Not the whole glory
Of the great plantation of the earth
Could have outdone the glory of the city streets
Neither the cry of great, green fields,
Nor the song of the hills,
Nor the glory of young birch trees
Bursting into life again along the banks of rivers,
Nor the oceans of bloom in the flowering orchards,
The peach trees, the apple trees,
The plum and cherry trees --
Not all of the singing and the gold of Spring,
With April bursting from the earth
In a million shouts of triumph,
And the visible stride,
The flowered feet, of Springtime
As it came on across the earth,
Could have surpassed the wordless and poignant glory
Of a single tree in a city street
-- Thomas Wolfe, A Stone, A Leaf, A Door (Charles Scribners Sons; 1945).