As I type this, it’s twelve degrees fahrenheit – an improvement over the 4 degrees my car thermometer read on the way to pick up a few groceries this morning. We have roughly a foot of snow on the ground and more is coming.
I’m not complaining – I love Michigan and all its weather, but there comes a day each year, right about now, when I dream of being magically transported to warmer weather, green grass, blue sky, and warm breezes. The poem below epitomizes my springtime fantasy.
And now, the poem from Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, with thanks to Project Gutenberg. The emphasis is mine and so is the photo, with lilacs from my back yard:
Warble for Lilac-Time
Warble me now for joy of lilac-time, (returning in reminiscence,) Sort me O tongue and lips for Nature’s sake, souvenirs of earliest summer, Gather the welcome signs, (as children with pebbles or stringing shells,) Put in April and May, the hylas croaking in the ponds, the elastic air, Bees, butterflies, the sparrow with its simple notes, Blue-bird and darting swallow, nor forget the high-hole flashing his golden wings, The tranquil sunny haze, the clinging smoke, the vapor, Shimmer of waters with fish in them, the cerulean above, All that is jocund and sparkling, the brooks running, The maple woods, the crisp February days and the sugar-making, The robin where he hops, bright-eyed, brown-breasted, With musical clear call at sunrise, and again at sunset, Or flitting among the trees of the apple-orchard, building the nest of his mate, The melted snow of March, the willow sending forth its yellow-green sprouts, For spring-time is here! the summer is here! and what is this in it and from it? Thou, soul, unloosen’d—the restlessness after I know not what; Come, let us lag here no longer, let us be up and away! O if one could but fly like a bird! O to escape, to sail forth as in a ship! To glide with thee O soul, o’er all, in all, as a ship o’er the waters; Gathering these hints, the preludes, the blue sky, the grass, the morning drops of dew, The lilac-scent, the bushes with dark green heart-shaped leaves, Wood-violets, the little delicate pale blossoms called innocence, Samples and sorts not for themselves alone, but for their atmosphere, To grace the bush I love—to sing with the birds, A warble for joy of returning in reminiscence.
(If you happen to be a fan of Regency mysteries – especially if they are populated with tiny lady vampires -check out my most recent review of The Lady Jewel Diviner, by clicking the link to the right of this post under “Latest Reviews.”)