Sunday, April 18, 2010

April

What was that that T.S. Eliot said about April?

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 5
Earth in forgetful snow, feeding
A little life with dried tubers.


That's how he began "The Waste Land," published in 1922. It's a difficult poem, for sure, what with his and Ezra Pound's emendations.

Am I reading it wrong to say he is saying that April is cruel because it gives us life (as in "lilacs"), which will only fail us or leave us in the end?

He takes more comfort in snow and winter.

And he didn't even live in Syracuse!

Maybe he needed to watch some baseball, such as a 20-inning marathon yesterday, of nearly seven hours, the Mets somehow stumbling to victory over the better Cardinals.

Cardinals.

You hear them more in April.

I love them, their clarion chirp, sonorous bell of insouciance, reminding me of my late brother, who also loved them.

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