Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April is the cruelest month

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April is the cruelest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
Winter kept us warm, covering
Earth in forgetful snow, feeding
A little life with dried tubers.
Summer surprised us, coming over the Starnbergersee
With a shower of rain; we stopped in the colonnade,
And went on in sunlight, into the Hofgarten,
And drank coffee, and talked for an hour.
Bin gar keine Russin, stamm' aus Litauen, echt deutsch.
And when we were children, staying at the archduke's,
My cousin's, he took me out on a sled,
And I was frightened. He said, Marie,
Marie, hold on tight. And down we went.
In the mountains, there you feel free.
I read, much of the night, and go south in the winter.

What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow
Out of this stony rubbish? Son of man,
You cannot say, or guess, for you know only
A heap of broken images, where the sun beats,
And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief,
And the dry stone no sound of water. Only
There is shadow under this red rock,
(Come in under the shadow of this red rock),
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.

- an excerpt from T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land (1922)


Kayni said...

we are at the mercy, powerless, to the changes and circumstances. whether it's season, month, or life altering experiences.

witsandnuts said...

A very nice way to kick off the month. Thinking about April Fool's day is remote. I like this poem. Makes me remember one book that I've been planning to flip through since January. Not exactly poems though, but the 50 greatest love letters of all times.

Angeli said...


i recommend Pablo Neruda's Twenty Love Songs and a Song of Despair (if you haven't read it). very, very beautiful.


I agree with you. we are powerless and yet we still trudge on. the ultimate irony of life.

jacqueline said...

April is the cruelest month at work for me... dragging on until my birth month (May).. whew!

i just thank the blogs i follow, i get to have some relaxing breaks within the day. :)

Angeli said...

hey jac, i can see how cruel it is for you. it's been a while since your last blog post.

witsandnuts said...

I'll take note your reco. Thanks. =)

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