We are at that glorious moment of the year when spring in all its wonderful forms is presenting itself once again. During this week the leaves and blossom have appeared on the trees, flowers showing themselves in the garden and the weather suggests, in a tantalizing manner, that we might see the sun again.
This burst of life presents a challenge of how to capture such beauty, a fleeting few days in the course of the year, which can inspire and support us in coming months. We can take photographs, we can paint and write poetry, and we can take time to look closely and appreciate this free gift.
Many skilled artists and poets have sought to capture these moments of beauty and I wonder if you have a favourite. For me, there is one poem by Laurie Lee printed below which seems to convey this annual wonder: in the web link below the poem Lee speaks about the background to writing this poem before reading the poem itself. I would encourage all of us, particularly our pupils, many of whom are absorbed with revision and examination preparation, to take time out and enjoy this fleeting season.
April Rise by Laurie Lee
If ever I saw blessing in the air
I see it now in this still early day
Where lemon-green the vaporous morning drips
Wet sunlight on the powder of my eye.
Blown bubble-film of blue, the sky wraps round
Weeds of warm light whose every root and rod
Splutters with soapy green, and all the world
Sweats with the bead of summer in its bud.
If ever I heard blessing it is there
Where birds in trees that shoals and shadows are
Splash with their hidden wings and drops of sound
Break on my ears their crests of throbbing air.
Pure in the haze the emerald sun dilates,
The lips of sparrows milk the mossy stones,
While white as water by the lake a girl
Swims her green hand among the gathered swans.
Now, as the almond burns its smoking wick,
Dropping small flames to light the candled grass;
Now, as my low blood scales its second chance,
If ever world were blessed, now it is.
“This was written in London but…indeed most of my poetry was written in London although most of it is based on images and sensations which I experienced in my home village or in the countryside …. But when I exiled myself from the village, ..got to London, got a job here – it was then all the atmospherics, images, furniture of poetry, of that particular village began to pour into my mind and this was where I wrote most of my poetry. This particular poem was written in a dirty old square down by Victoria Station. Others have been written on tops of buses, in underground stations, all sorts…this one I remember very well because of the dirty day on which I wrote it which had no relation to the poem itself. It’s called ‘April Rise’.” (https://www.poetryarchive.org/poem/april-rise)