april 1. come she will 2. is the cruelest month

“April Showers bring May flowers”

tulips!

My meteorological question of the day. Where does it rain the most in April? I guess England and the Northeast? Because things bloom in April here, and it rains a lot in March. I guess because Georgia’s winter ends in late February/early March and by the end of March it is full on spring. Well, key to this proverb is that April is a time for new beginnings! and I am completely craving spring time.

I wanted to looked at how April was portrayed in one of my favorite and poems and one of my favorite songs because in Modern Poetry when we were looking at “The Wasteland” I kept wanting to sing this song by Simon and Garfunkel, which of course turned out horribly because I usually try to do both harmonies at the same time and of course fail.

In “April Come She Will” Simon and Garfunkel sing about a girl who, after she comes in April when streams are swelled with rain, and by September, she has up and left him and he is nostalgic about her. It is telling that the love starts in April, opposed to January the “start” of the year because it returns to a pagan concept of the calendar based on fertility opposed to science, that the man and woman are able to be together in fertile times, but the man is unable to harvest his love and keep it through the winter and thus is only left with his memories. Supposedly this song was based an English nursery rhyme that Paul Simon’s femme du jour would sing absentmindedly.

In “The Wasteland,” T.S. Eliot opens with his now-oft quoted like “April is the cruelest month” referring to the renewal of life coming from ground [lilacs] disturbing the dead who are buried and don’t want to wake up. I’m pretty sure this is just about the saddest thing ever.

Though both works suggest and are open to a cyclical nature in life and renewal, they both also start in April, the time of fertility and renewal and end in images of winter/dead/absence without an explicit point towards renewal, the April works are rather depressing.

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Filed under British, Literature

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