Poetry Month Begins

T.S. Eliot’s poem The Wasteland begins with this line: April is the cruelest month. The next few lines yearn for winter’s return so that we can remain wrapped in snow’s forgetful cover, safe from memory and desire stirring in the spring rain.

Perversely, as a New Englander, I concocted my own meaning for his line when spring was just beginning to peek through, a snow storm in April would cruelly yank us back to winter. Yeah, I know his version has more heft. Mine is but an argument with the weather.

When I moved to Austin, I learned that April is a much different month. The air is deeply fragrant. Flowers drip from trees and vines. One tree in particular always startles me with its scent. Why startle? Because the Acacia tree is quite tall and the blooms are way up high so you don’t notice the little yellow puffs until their scent drifts down conjuring up so many images. Like this:

The Acacia blooms
sweet and soft like a boy’s hope
on Saturday night.

So begins poetry month. Thirty days to notice the precious and profane world around us. Join me.