On the Second April’s Poems

April is a month of contradictions.  Which, of course, might be the reason why I was born in it.  It’s an ornery month, reflecting my personality running up to school’s April break more than a bit accurately.

Still, April, of course, is National Poetry Month.  So that’s all the more reason to read poems to people, isn’t it?  It’s also the first full month of spring, and for the most part, the snow and cold are receding.  This month has been full of April showers, and not much for warmth.  Nevertheless, those flowers keep poking their resolute way out of the cold ground.  Also, last year at this time I spent a week in England, which is where, for the most part, my imagination lives, so as always, Robert Browning got the call to start off the month.

April 2, Monday:  Robert Browning, “Home Thoughts from Abroad

Linda Pastan

April 3, Tuesday:  Linda Pastan, “April

April 4, Wedensday: Carl Sandburg, “The Wind Sings Welcome in Early Spring”

April 5, Thursday: Emily Dickinson, “Before You Thought of Spring

April 6, Friday: Christina Rosetti, “Spring Quiet

April 9, Monday:  Thomas Hardy, “During Wind and Rain

April 10, Tuesday: Carl Dennis, “Ingratitude

April 11, Wednesday: Patrick Kavanagh, “In Memory of My Mother” (This would have been my mother’s 80th birthday, so this one’s for her.)

April 12, Thursday: Rita Dove, “Vacation

April 13-20: Vacation!

Rita Dove

April 23, Monday: William Shakespeare, “Sonnet 18”  (It is his birthday, after all…)

April 24, Tuesday: Robert Bly, “Gratitude to Old Teachers”  (This one was a present from my friend Jean.)

April 25, Wednesday: Ted Kooser, “How to Foretell a Change in the Weather”

April 26, Thursday: Edna St. Vincent Millay, “Spring

April 27, Friday: Emily Dickenson, “I never hear the word ‘escape'”

Edna St. Vincent Millay

April 30, Monday: David Mason, “Song of the Powers”

Now on to May.


At the Maine Writing Project’s “Writing Ourselves” spring conference, the poet Douglas Woodsum asked if I was the teacher who read a poem to my classes every day.  And did I still do it?  Damn skippy.


  1. portlandfriendsmeeting

    I love Patrick Kavanagh! One of my favourite poets. And here’s one of his for May, or possibly the beginning of June – I love this poem:

    After May

    May came, and every shabby phoenix flapped
    A coloured rag in lieu of shining wings;
    In school bad manners spat and went unslapped
    Schoolmistress Fancy dreamt of other things.
    The lilac blossomed for a day or two
    Gaily, and then grew weary of her fame.
    Plough-horses out on grass could now pursue
    The pleasures of the very mute and tame.

    A light that might be mystic or a fraud
    Played on far hills beyond all common sight,
    And some men said that it was Adam’s God
    As Adam saw before the Apple-bite,
    Sweet May is gone, and now must poets croon
    The praises of a rather stupid June.


  2. portlandfriendsmeeting

    Oh and how about Hardy’s “Afterwards” – a favourite of mine, and one I always think about when I see the new leaves in May. http://www.shmoop.com/afterwards-hardy/poem-text.html


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