Forsythia always reminds me of a poignant movie of my late childhood "The Outsiders". In one scene Ponyboy and Johnny are admiring the mist in the early morning, and Ponyboy quotes this poem by Robert Frost:
Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leafs a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
I always thought the gold in the poem was forsythia, one of the first blooms in the Spring, and The Outsiders was what introduced me to the poem. It's a sad poem, really. In fact, The Outsiders, is a depressing book, but, oh, how it spoke to my early teen angst. "Stay gold, Ponyboy! Stay gold!" Johnny urges his friend before Johnny dies.
I love all the colors of Spring. I love the promise of warmth after the cold winter. I try not to think too much about how very short a time we have before the blanket of daffodils in the park will wither and be gone. I promise myself I will take the kids there and let them walk through them, sneeze at the pollen, and holler at them for picking one or two (as the sign clearly says "Do NOT pick the flowers").
Last week was one of those kinds of weeks, that you hope you don't have too often-life kinds of things. So, as much as I love Robert Frost, I really don't need reminding how temporary and fragile life can be. Instead, I think I'll consider...
Virginia in Spring
by Jack Peachum
Damn those roses—
They’re gossiping again,
Vain old ladies in their red hats!
Look at that ring of thorns—some necklace!
Their chatter fills the leaves of the pear tree,
Riling the mocking-bird,
Scolding the yucca,
Shaking down pear-blossoms.
I love this poem!
Interestingly enough, it was the only one I found which kept a smile on my Spring-admiring face. Finding Spring poems that are not disturbing is harder than I thought. Take this one, for instance...
by Dorothea Grossman
on his way to work,
stops to admire the wisteria
framing his doorway,
to the bug-eyed azaleas.
Is there only one Spring poem that celebrates the end of the freakin' cold and appearance of the beauty of the blossoms without getting all macabre and weird?
It seems like many poets see Spring flowers and think about less happy things. Does looking at a daffodil make me think of my mortality?
A Spring View
Tu Fu (c. 750)
Though a country be sundered, hills and rivers endure;
And spring comes green again to trees and grasses
Where petals have been shed like tears
And lonely birds have sung their grief.
...After the war-fires of three months,
One message from home is worth a ton of gold.
...I stroke my white hair. It has grown too thin
To hold the hairpins any more.
UGH!!!! Come on, people. I want happy! Dancing among the crocuses and stuff. Give me a break here!!
It is NOT EASY to stay gold, when you have poets like this bringing you down!
I tried another poetry site. Finally! A poem that doesn't make me want to go back to bed.
Today is the day when bold kites fly,
When cumulus clouds roar across the sky.
When robins return, when children cheer,
When light rain beckons spring to appear.
Today is the day when daffodils bloom,
Which children pick to fill the room,
Today is the day when grasses green,
When leaves burst forth for spring to be seen.
What about you? Any spring favorites that are uplifting?
Posted by Jennifer Johnson at 6:26 AM