I won’t go into it with quite that zeal, but today I’ll kick in two April-related items to get the month started (it’s still early enough for a “start”, yes).
This is the first verse of T.S. Eliot’s “The Waste Land”, one of my favourites. I love the way he puts the verbs at the ends of the lines at the beginning, giving an odd rhythm by making the last word of one line really be the first word of the next.
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.
Summer surprised us, coming over the Starnbergersee
With a shower of rain; we stopped in the colonnade,
And went on in sunlight, into the Hofgarten
And drank coffee, and talked for an hour.
Bin gar keine Russin, stamm’ aus Litauen, echt deutsch.
And when we were children, staying at the arch-duke’s,
My cousin’s, he took me out on a sled,
And I was frightened. He said, Marie,
Marie, hold on tight. And down we went.
In the mountains, there you feel free.
I read, much of the night, and go south in the winter.
And this is one of Paul Simon’s shorter ditties, “April Come She Will”, which first appeared on Simon and Garfunkel’s Sounds of Silence album. This, too, has an interesting pattern, but much more simple; it’s reminiscent of the old traditional rhyme about “Monday’s child”. The inverted word order for April and August also adds to it.
April, come she will
When streams are ripe and swelled with rain
May, she will stay
Resting in my arms again
June, she’ll change her tune
In restless walks she’ll prowl the night
July, she will fly
And give no warning to her flight
August, die she must
The autumn winds blow chilly and cold
September, I’ll remember
A love once new has now grown old