Spring Poetry for the Allergic at Heart


Blooming fruit orchard in spring

The month of April always brings the potential for wild weather, whether in the form of storms, tornados, or floods. But for allergy sufferers, April offers another brand of cruelty every day. For those of us who think of pollen like poison, April can indeed be the “cruelest month,” as T. S. Eliot tells us in The Wasteland. These opening lines seem directed straight at the allergically challenged:

April is the cruelest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.

So, before we officially kiss April goodbye, let’s pay homage to the allergy season with a few other poems to make you sneeze, sniffle, and drip with joy.

 

daffodil
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
          — “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud,” William Wordsworth

 

Beautiful spring trees in bloom

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nothing is so beautiful as Spring –
   When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush;
   Thrush’s eggs look little low heavens, and thrush
Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring
The ear, it strikes like lightnings to hear him sing;
   The glassy peartree leaves and blooms, they brush
   The descending blue; that blue is all in a rush
With richness; the racing lambs too have fair their fling.
               — “Spring,” Gerard Manley Hopkins

 

TreeSorrow is my own yard
where the new grass
flames as it has flamed
often before but not
with the cold fire
that closes round me this year.
               — “The Widow’s Lament in Springtime,” William Carlos Williams

 

 

purple lilacs
In the dooryard fronting an old farm-house near the white-wash’d palings,
Stands the lilac-bush tall-growing with heart-shaped leaves of rich green,
With many a pointed blossom rising delicate, with the perfume strong I love,
With every leaf a miracle—and from this bush in the dooryard,
With delicate-color’d blossoms and heart-shaped leaves of rich green,
A sprig with its flower I break.

               — “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d,” Walt Whitman

 

white blossom in spring

 

Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide.
          — “Loveliest of trees, the cherry now,” A. E. Housman

 

 

Blooming Lily of the valley in spring garden

I should have known,
     though I did not,
          that the lily-of-the-valley
is a flower makes many ill
          who whiff it.

               — “Asphodel, That Greeny Flower,” William Carlos Williams

 

3 Comments

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  1. 2
    Jenny

    Cherry blossoms and daffodils are both not common in Louisiana, where I grew up. When I finally saw them in full bloom (daffodils in England, cherry blossoms in New York), I remember thinking that Housman (and other poets) and Wordsworth (and other poets) weren’t just saying it — those flowers are damn gorgeous.

  2. 3
    Sunshinebright

    Thank you so much for this April ending. I so appreciate your quoting the poems; especially loved the daffodils and the lily-of-the-valleys. Originally from the Northeast, I always looked forward to these – never knew I missed the daffodils so much, until the Wadsworth’s quote. Used to have them in my garden. I agree with kraftycatcreations. Allergy meds are a must at this time of year.

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