Khooneh Takouni

The First Spring Day

Poetic Beats

Welcome to this week’s Poetic Beats with Howard Bond and Davy D, recorded on the 19th March 2018 on Red Kite Radio.

On the last day of astronomical Winter, and the eve of Spring and the Vernal (Spring) Equinox, we read and examine the poem, The First Spring Day by Christina Rossetti.

The Spring Equinox has long been celebrated as a time of rebirth in the Northern Hemisphere and there are many festivals welcoming the first day of Spring. In Iran, the equinox marks the start of Nowruz, the Persian New Year, and the festival of Khooneh Takouni, (shaking the house down), where two weeks of spring cleaning gets the new year underway.

If you have difficulty listening to the broadcast a text version of the poem is included after the sound bar.

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The First Spring Day

 

I wonder if the sap is stirring yet,

If wintry birds are dreaming of a mate,

If frozen snowdrops feel as yet the sun

And crocus fires are kindling one by one:

        Sing, robin, sing!

I still am sore in doubt concerning Spring.

 

I wonder if the spring-tide of this year

Will bring another Spring both lost and dear;

If heart and spirit will find out their Spring,

Or if the world alone will bud and sing:

        Sing, hope, to me!

Sweet notes, my hope, soft notes for memory.

 

The sap will surely quicken soon or late,

The tardiest bird will twitter to a mate;

So Spring must dawn again with warmth and bloom,

Or in this world, or in the world to come:

        Sing, voice of Spring!

Till I too blossom and rejoice and sing.

 

Christina Rossetti