TCS: This Whole Experiment of Green

. . . Good Morning!

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Welcome to The Coffee Shop, just for you early risers on Monday mornings.
This is an Open Thread forum, so if you have an off-topic opinion burning
a hole in your brainpan, feel free to add a comment.

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Here cometh April again, and
as far as I can see the world
hath more fools in it than ever.

– Charles Lamb

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Since April is National Poetry Month, and also notorious as a month of changeable weather, I offer you some Spring and April poems to start your Monday.

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Just Before April Came 

by Carl Sandburg

THE SNOW piles in dark places are gone.
Pools by the railroad tracks shine clear.
The gravel of all shallow places shines.
A white pigeon reels and somersaults.

Frogs plutter and squdge—and frogs beat the air
. . . . . with a recurring thin steel sliver of melody.
Crows go in fives and tens; they march their black feathers
. . . . . past a blue pool; they celebrate an old festival.
A spider is trying his webs, a pink bug sits on my hand
. . . . . washing his forelegs.
I might ask: Who are these people?

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Always Marry An April Girl 

by Ogden Nash

Praise the spells and bless the charms,
I found April in my arms.
April golden, April cloudy,
Gracious, cruel, tender, rowdy;
April soft in flowered languor,
April cold with sudden anger,
Ever changing, ever true –
I love April, I love you.

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Song Of A Second April 

by Edna St. Vincent Millay

April this year, not otherwise
Than April of a year ago,
Is full of whispers, full of sighs,
Of dazzling mud and dingy snow;
Hepaticas that pleased you so
Are here again, and butterflies.

There rings a hammering all day,
And shingles lie about the doors;
In orchards near and far away
The grey wood-pecker taps and bores;
The men are merry at their chores,
And children earnest at their play.

The larger streams run still and deep,
Noisy and swift the small brooks run
Among the mullein stalks the sheep
Go up the hillside in the sun,
Pensively,—only you are gone,
You that alone I cared to keep.

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Sonnet 98: From you I have been absent in the spring

by William Shakespeare

From you have I been absent in the spring,
When proud-pied April, dressed in all his trim,
Hath put a spirit of youth in everything,
That heavy Saturn laughed and leaped with him,
Yet nor the lays of birds, nor the sweet smell
Of different flowers in odor and in hue,
Could make me any summer’s story tell,
Or from their proud lap pluck them where they grew.
Nor did I wonder at the lily’s white,
Nor praise the deep vermilion in the rose;
They were but sweet, but figures of delight,
Drawn after you, you pattern of all those.
. . .Yet seemed it winter still, and, you away,
. . .As with your shadow I with these did play.

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A little Madness in the Spring 

by Emily Dickinson

A little Madness in the Spring
Is wholesome even for the King,
But God be with the Clown –
Who ponders this tremendous scene –
This whole Experiment of Green –
As if it were his own!

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American Pharoah

by Ada Limón

Despite the morning’s gray static of rain,
we drive to Churchill Downs at 6 a.m.,
eyes still swollen shut with sleep. I say,
Remember when I used to think everything
was getting better and better? Now, I think
it’s just getting worse and worse.
I know it’s not

what I’m supposed to say as we machine our
way through the silent seventy minutes on 64
over pavement still fractured from the winter’s
wreckage. I’m tired. I’ve had vertigo for five
months and on my first day home, he’s shaken
me awake to see this horse, not even race, but
work. He gives me his jacket as we face
the deluge from car to the twin spire turnstiles,
and once deep in the fern-green grandstands, I see
the crowd. A few hundred maybe, black umbrellas,
cameras, and notepads, wet-winged eager early birds
come to see this Kentucky-bred bay colt with his
chewed-off tail train to end the almost 40-year
American Triple Crown drought. A man next to us,
some horseracing heavy, ticks off a list of reasons
why this horse—his speed-laden pedigree, muscle
and bone recovery, et cetera, et cetera—could never
win the grueling mile-and-a-half Belmont Stakes.
Then, the horse with his misspelled name comes out,
first just casually cantering with his lead horse,
and next, a brief break in the storm, and he’s racing
against no one but himself and the official clocker,
monstrously fast and head down so we can see
that faded star flash on his forehead like this
is real gladness. As the horse eases up and we
close our mouths to swallow, the heavy next to us
folds his arms, says what I want to say too: I take it all back.

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Poems

  • “Just Before April Came” from The Complete Poems of Carl Sandburg, © 197o by Lilian Steichen Sandburg, Trustee – Harcourt, Brace & Company
  • “The Waste Land” from T.S. Eliot: Collected Poems 1909-1962, © 1991 by Esme Valerie Eliot – Harcourt, Brace & Company
  • “Always Marry an April Girl” from The Best of Ogden Nash, © 2007 by Linell Nash Smith – Ivan. R. Dee, publisher
  • “Song Of A Second April” from Collected Poems of Edna St. Vincent Millay, 1956 –
    HarperCollins
  • “Sonnet 98 – From you I have been absent in the spring” by William Shakespeare
  • “A little Madness in the Spring” by Emily Dickinson
  • “American Pharoah” © 2015 by Ada Limón. Originally published in the Winter 2015 issue of Prairie Schooner

Visuals

  • Coffee mug with flower umbrella
  • Three crows in flight
  • Sunshine and rain
  • Hepaticas
  • David Bowie in flowers
  • Child with painted face – Myanmar
  • American Pharoah

About wordcloud9

Nona Blyth Cloud has lived and worked in the Los Angeles area for the past 45 years, spending much of that time commuting on the 405 Freeway. After Hollywood failed to appreciate her genius for acting and directing, she began a second career managing non-profits, from which she has retired. Nona has now resumed writing whatever comes into her head, instead of reports and pleas for funding. She lives in a small house overrun by books with her wonderful husband and a bewildered Border Collie.
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