While perhaps it may be premature to say that spring is around, there is a distinct feeling that spring brings. The air feels different, the bare trees less threatening with a hint of blossoms and new leaves and new hopes.
Although i feel that bared, desperate trees and dry brown grass has its own poetry and own story, the expectant air of spring brings a metaphysics of hope, of desire, of memory too.
Years ago, when i first read the waste land, the very first lines in that poem seemed to me to reflect the same feeling that I have just mentioned.
Eliot finds April cruel, the cruelest month as he says, days that spring forth metaphorically a mixing of memory and desire. Now this is not word play but a depiction of a mood. And then instantly he reminds us that winter was warm because it had brought forgetfulness which is medicine for memory. The woman speaking these lines finds summer surprising and prefers winter as she reminds herself of what she did one summer and what she would usually do in warm winter.
I am not critically appraising Eliot's poem as i feel inadequate in doing so. My main concern is with spring and all that it gives or doesn't. There are endless references in both classical and modern including Romantic poetry about spring and poets, writers having waxed lyrical too.
However it is this very opening up of the earth, the glamour of new flowers, the turning afresh of new grass that I find disconcerting.
And it is here that the cruelty of April or all spring bursts like a tiger on the prowl. Everything opens up, the very senses seem to clear leaving more ground for fresh wounds. Then spring becomes a fertile ground for all inhuman, unvoiced desires, emotions and memory to resurface and remind us of the frailty of our fingertips, the drying moisture of our lips. Spring goads and burns with a persistent hum that drowns the indifferent tune of desire.
It lights up the sorrows that the earth had sustained, giving the illusion of merry prancing around indifferent green. Spring brings cruelty to thoughts that had thawed with forgetful snow.
Spring is a sinister season, a dark time of the year and brings days wherein all that one had forgotten or presumed so, lights up on the skin of the soul. The swing starts to swing, old ghosts, unrequited passions, half-voiced loves simmer and burn again.
Memory or if you prefer desire brings a yearning for winter, for long nights, for dark days, for snow, for respite.
I prefer winter to spring.