Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Weekly Scribblings #66: All About April

Hello, dear Wordsmiths. How has your April been, so far? Mine has been mostly wet – in a way that does NOT make me share Langston Hughes’s sentiments, below.

We know that Eliot said this was the cruellest month – so memorably that the notion has been widely accepted. I thought it might be interesting to look at what others have said. It turns out that lots of people have said plenty! I chose for your delectation some poems which have for me, and I hope for you, a touch of the unexpected. (Sometimes more than a touch. The connection of Louise Gluck's piece to the month of April seems tenuous at best – but there's something rather paradoxically enjoyable about its irascible tone. And then, the point slowly registers....)



April Rain Song


Let the rain kiss you

Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops

Let the rain sing you a lullaby

The rain makes still pools on the sidewalk

The rain makes running pools in the gutter

The rain plays a little sleep song on our roof at night

And I love the rain.


– Langston Hughes




Wet Evening in April


The birds sang in the wet trees

And I listened to them it was a hundred years from now

And I was dead and someone else was listening to them.

But I was glad I had recorded for him

The melancholy.


– Patrick Kavanagh




April


No one's despair is like my despair--


You have no place in this garden

thinking such things, producing

the tiresome outward signs; the man

pointedly weeding an entire forest,

the woman limping, refusing to change clothes

or wash her hair.


Do you suppose I care

if you speak to one another?

But I mean you to know

I expected better of two creatures

who were given minds: if not

that you would actually care for each other

at least that you would understand

grief is distributed

between you, among all your kind, for me

to know you, as deep blue

marks the wild scilla, white

the wood violet.


– Louise Gluck




April Fools


Spring. A great yellow stain.

Forsythias burst and daffodils explode.

Swallows hurry back from Mexico

and are bitten by

the laughing snows of April.


Spring, the smile

of a ninety-year old man

who can't hear a thing you say

yet keeps talking to you nonetheless.


Spring and dreams

have that in common.


– David Kowalczyk




In April


This I saw on an April day:

Warm rain spilt from a sun-lined cloud,

A sky-flung wave of gold at evening,

And a cock pheasant treading a dusty path

Shy and proud.


And this I found in an April field:

A new white calf in the sun at noon,

A flash of blue in a cool moss bank,

And tips of tulips promising flowers

To a blue-winged loon.


And this I tried to understand

As I scrubbed the rust from my brightening plow:

The movement of seed in furrowed earth,

And a blackbird whistling sweet and clear

From a green-sprayed bough.


– James Hearst








I invite you to be inspired by any or all of these: a line or phrase, an idea, a mood, a whole poem … I’ve given you a variety to choose from.  


And there's the song, sad yet achingly beautiful, which you may also (or instead) use as  inspiration.


You may take issue with something said, if you like.

Or if you’d rather, ignore them all and scribble for us your own story about April

Some of us have girded up our loins (yet again!) to write a poem a day in April, using one or more of various online prompts. If you would like to share one of those pieces here (from this April, 2021) rather than write yet another new one, that's sufficient connection to April to be acceptable to me, whatever the topic. (I might even do that myself; we'll see.*)  

Please tell us somewhere in your post which option you are responding to.


As you know, we welcome poetry and prose. If you choose prose, please keep to 369 words maximum (excluding title).


Then please link, below, to your post on your blog; one entry per person. We love it when you link back to this post from your blog, too. The prompt will stay open all week.  Happy scribbling!


*Later: Yes I did select from my April prompt poems, at the last minute, having not found time to write something specially. I have chosen a piece which seems to me suitable for this day in this April, immediately following the verdict in the George Floyd murder case.




Material shared here is presented for study and review. Poems, photos, and other writings and images remain the property of the copyright owners, usually the authors. (Older material may be out of copyright).



15 comments:

  1. I chose to share a poem I wrote from a NaPoWriMo prompt on 10th April. I hope everyone is enjoying this year's Poem a Day. The end is in sight!

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    1. Thanks, KIm. I guess I have been enjoying it for the most part – though May will mean a big catch-up with tidying the house, which has been sadly neglected in favour of the poeming.
      Every year I've done it, including this year, I hit some kind of a slump around mid-month for a few days, where I feel dreadfully uninspired and churn out, with great difficulty, stuff I'm almost embarrassed to post. Then suddenly that passes and I'm looking at what I produce – as if from nowhere – thinking, 'Did I really write that?'

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  2. Been posting in a 30day mood of April at my facebook wall however some are oldies.
    Grateful to be alive and writing and reading the writings of my poetry friends. That's April 2021 for me. Thanks for today's prompt Rosemary

    Much💛love

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    1. Gratitude for what we have is a great place to be!

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  3. One of my oldest friends is named April. Good old memories.

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  4. Joke on me!!! I waxed all poetic about April's promise in northern climes, and last night we got two inches of snow!! By tomorrow it's supposed to be in the 70's again. Go figure!!

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    1. Oh dear. I apologise for the spontaneous laugh that arose when I read that. But actually it's not funny of course: it's b. climate change whether we like it or not. Our autumn here has been very out of killter also.

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  5. Mr. Hughes is my favorite .... April is certainly an inspirational month for poems. I have composed one each day, though I haven't followed any of the official prompts. My bad. Have a great week everyone.

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    1. Oh, I think the prompts are there to help and inspire us, not limit us. Writing a poem a day is the main thing, so good on you! Ah, Mr Hughes ... so often he is one's favourite, don't you find?

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  6. A neighbor of mine has hired a fool to work on his property. The fool has sprayed some sort of poison on the land. Youall don't want to read the rhymes that "April rain, April pain" brought to mind today. Maybe I'll come back to this one later.

    I thought I saw a snowflake this morning, too. In Virginia. Frost on the tenth of May happens now and then but we rarely see snow in April.

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    1. Oh, Priscilla, that's awful in so many ways! I imagine you have more than enough to deal with, as a result, in the immediate, practical aspects of life as well as the emotional (fury? despair? ...). Later might be time enough to express that in verse, or to write a poem that's also a prayer for the kind of April you would much prefer to experience. Meanwhile I feel for you, and with you.

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  7. This seems like a good prompt. I will see what comes of my attempt(s).

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    1. I'm so glad you like it, Jenna. I look forward to seeing what comes of your attempts, too!

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  8. Real late to the party, but it’sbeen on my mind to contribute. This is a significant rewrite of an old poem of mine — with a few old spring tunes thrown in.

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