“April is the cruellest month,” wrote T.S. Eliot in his long 5-section poem “Waste Land.” Here’s an excerpt from the first section.
For Ezra Pound
Il Miglior Fabbro
I. The Burial of the Dead
April is the cruellest 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.
This particular April of 2020 seems to be difficult, but why would Eliot or rather the speaker of the poem call April the cruelest month? Much activity takes place in nature during spring and there’s work to be done. The cozy winter days of inactivity, dormancy are coming to an end and the lilacs are blooming. There’s no time for story-telling and leisure. How do you feel about the spring, about April? Can you flip the first line on its head and write a poem about the kindness of April?
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