Vernal Equinox

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.

To hear this week’s episode of Poetic Beats please press the arrow to the left of the sound bar below.

 

 

 

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

March

Poetic Beats

Welcome to this week’s Poetic Beats with Howard Bond and Davy D, recorded on the 5th of March 2018 on Red Kite Radio.

On today’s episode we celebrate the arrival of the meteorological start of Spring in the UK with the poem March, by Celia Thaxter.  After a week of living with the “Beast From The East” Winter is still with us. According to the astronomical calendar Winter doesn’t start in the Northern Hemisphere until the Vernal Equinox on the 20.03.18, so we have a few cold weeks to go yet.

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

To hear this episode of Poetic Beats please press the arrow to the left of the sound bar below.

 

 

March

I wonder what spendthrift chose to spill

Such bright gold under my window-sill!

Is it fairy gold?    Does it glitter still?

Bless me! it is a daffodil!

 

And look at the crocuses keeping tryst

With the daffodil by the sunshine kissed.

Like beautiful bubbles of amethyst

They seem, blown out of the earth’s snow-mist.

 

And snowdrops’ delicate fairy bells

With a pale green tint like the ocean swells;

And the hyacinths wearing their perfumed spells!

The ground is a rainbow of asphodels!

 

Who said that March was a scold and a shrew?

Who said she had nothing on earth to do

But tempests and furies and tempests to brew?

Why, look at the wealth she has lavished on you!

 

O March that blusters and March that blows,

What colour under your footsteps glows!

Beauty you summon from winter snows,

And you are the pathway that leads to the rose.

 

CELIA THAXTER.