“Then it was spring; and in spring anything may happen. Absolutely anything.” ~ E. E. Cummings
Spring, April, Poetry Month: a welcome trifecta of hope, beauty and possibilities. It’s a time of birdsong, thoughtful reading, invention, and above all, celebration. We celebrate and marvel at words, which, according to Wordsworth, can capture “the breathings of your heart.”
Nobody does Spring better than my favorite poet E. E. Cummings. It’s fitting that my first encounter with Cummings was his iconic “in-Just/spring” — I remember meeting the “little lame balloonman” in high school and I haven’t been the same since.
In college, his “sweet spring” was on continuous loop as I read, read, read, wrote, wrote, wrote, and learned how to learn:
sweet spring is your
time is my time is our
time for springtime is lovetime
and viva sweet love
As a young teacher, I shared “Spring is like a perhaps hand” and “O sweet spontaneous” with my students. We discussed the inherent musicality of language, with Cummings the prime example of a poet who reveled in experimentation and innovation. Words are living, breathing entities, after all — why not make them sing?