Tuesday, May 31, 2011

On Spring, again...

It is hot on the island tonight. The first really hot night of the year, I think. It feels less like spring now than it does like summer, and the internet tells me that the American Memorial Day is the unofficial start of that season anyway. Maybe May 24 is our unofficial summer start. Or maybe it should be.
In any case, I am not yet ready to relinquish the first season of the year. I want spring, and its green conflagration to remain awhile. Summer will be long and hot enough, and fall, like spring, will be regrettably short.
For spring, for that brief, lovely spring, I offer you another poem on that subject, with a decidedly different take. Lilacs were an important part of my spring last year, and are shaping up to be again. My neighbourhood has several trees of them, and my walks often take me by them; their scent is everywhere this time of year, the smell of them is a powerful signifier of spring.  Maybe, gentle reader, the hours will carry you, as well, into June...

BY GOTTFRIED BENN
TRANSLATED FROM THE GERMAN BY MICHAEL HOFMANN

Fill yourself up with the forsythias
and when the lilacs flower, stir them in too
with your blood and happiness and wretchedness,
the dark ground that seems to come with you.

Sluggish days. All obstacles overcome.
And if you say: ending or beginning, who knows,
then maybe—just maybe—the hours will carry you
into June, when the roses blow.


Summer days have their charm as well, I suppose, depending on what, or whom, one compares them to...