Yesterday was the birthday of Irish playwright and poet John Millington Synge (1871-1909) and today the anniversary of my mother’s passing. To honor both the poet and the gardener, I post this poem and a new painting.
May seven tears in every week,
Touch the hollow of your cheek,
That I—signed with such a dew—
For the Lion’s share may sue
Of roses ever curled
Round the may-pole of the world.
Heavy riddles lie in this,
Sorrow’s sauce for every kiss.
—John Millington Synge
For the birthday of William Wordsworth (1770-1850); I post an excerpt from “Poems on the Naming of Places,” accompanied by a sketch made on a family bike ride. Not while pedaling though.
It was an April morning: fresh and clear
The Rivulet, delighting in its strength,
Ran with a young man’s speed; and yet the voice
Of waters which the winter had supplied
Was softened down into a vernal tone.
The spirit of enjoyment and desire,
And hopes and wishes, from all living things
Went circling, like a multitude of sounds.
The budding groves seemed eager to urge on
The steps of June; as if their various hues
Were only hindrances that stood between
Them and their object: but, meanwhile, prevailed
Such an entire contentment in the air
That every naked ash, and tardy tree
Yet leafless, showed as if the countenance
With which it looked on this delightful day
Were native to the summer…
You can read the poem in entirety here.
For a mini-bio of Wordsworth, please see My Heart Leaps Up. For another painting and favorite poem, please see Dancing with the Daffodils.
This day in celebration of pranks and tomfoolery, which dates back several hundred years in Europe (and which also appears in some non-European cultures at the turning of the year from winter to spring—a kind of universal spring fever), in France is called Poisson d’Avril. Here are a few April Fool pranks from around the world.
In our family the most successful prank was played by my husband who, glancing outside one April 1 morning, exclaimed excitedly, “A lion’s escaped from the zoo!” sending us all rushing in astonishment to the window. After all, the zoo is only a block away… He still chuckles about that one.