I feel bad to admit it, but it usually drives me crazy to read the thing. (Sorry, LoG fans!) Definitely not the fan of free-form poetry I was once upon a time, and Walt's earnest-white-man making O Endless Lists of Places, Vocations and States with patriotism, nationalism and sex-talk (not the sort of 'love spendings' that catch my interest) tends to bore me at best or irk me outright.
However, sometimes I hit the right poem at the right time, and it makes it worthwhile for me to be putting myself through the book just to say I've read it.
Today was one of those days: I was outside listening to the birdsong, admiring the sunlight and the budding plants, the hopping birds and the blue sky, when I read aloud 'Warble for Lilac-Time' for the first time.
In honour of (Inter)National Poetry Month (thank you, flist, for alerting me of this!) I thought I'd share it. I'm copy-pasting it from another site so I can't be 100% sure of its accuracy, but here it is:
Warble me 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,
Shimmers of waters with fish in them, the cerulean above,
All the 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 lilac-time, returning in reminiscence.
I'm quite content to continue lagging. Now I'm thinking of one of my favourite flowering trees--Cercis canadensis, the Eastern Redbud--and its dark bark, purple buds, dark heart-shaped leaves. I'll leave you all with a picture of one from the Internet to keep up this feeling of spring.
Both the Muppet dogs wish you all 'hello' and also 'zzz' from the sofa they have taken over from me. Isn't it kind that they left me the final quarter of it for sitting? Such charitable creatures.
Much joy to you, my fellow warblers!
[Crossposted from dreamwidth.]