*Image above via House & Garden showcasing the astounding Petworth Gardens in West Sussex, England.
A couple of lovely lines about spring that struck a chord with me at the dawn of this season of incipience and seedling:
“The day is fresh-washed and fair, and there is a smell of tulips and narcissus in the air.”
– Amy Lowell, “Spring Day” (1916). “Fresh-washed and fair” — the alliteration, yes, but something about the recurring sibilance of “fresh” and “wash” anoint, and then there is the unexpected meter of that four-word chain, whose shape balloons into spring-like auspiciousness (is “fresh-washed and” a dactyl?) and ends in the breathy though reassuring stressed syllable “fair.”
“I feel the spring far off, far off,
The faint, far scent of bud and leaf—
Oh, how can spring take heart to come
To a world in grief,
— Sarah Teasdale, “Spring in War-Time” (1917). Lines (an entire poem, in fact) that feel oddly prescient in the shadow of COVID. I wrote more about this general sentiment in my most recent weekend musings.
“What is all this juice and all this joy?
A strain of the earth’s sweet being in the beginning”
— Gerard Manley Hopkins, “Spring” (1877). Hopkins was known for his — at the time — unconventional use of sprung rhythm, which many believe more closely approximates spoken English, and which spurns the more traditional use of marching iambic pentameter and other repeating rhyme schemes. Hopkins wrote directly about this matter in the preface to one of his books of poetry, where he stated that “verse written strictly in these [conventional] feet and by these [conventional] principles will become same and tame.” There is something particularly powerful, then, about the use of sprung rhythm in this poem, shown to great effect in “all this juice” and “all this joy,” a line of virtually all-stressed feet, where we feel the full and unbridled force of spring defying that which would “tame.”
“Viewing the logged hill I see the forest,
All second growth, but powerful with shade.”
–Maura Stanton, “Spring” (1985). A reminder that though spring can read fragile, there is strength in rebirth.
+This pale blue tulipiere! Added to my list of potential gifts for my mother/mother-in-law. So elegant and unexpected.
+I ordered this dress the minute I saw it.
+These double-scalloped embroidered sheets have the look of a high-end bedding designer, but ring in at under $100.
+Still, this is my favorite part of my bed as is now available in the prettiest blush hue.
+Prettiest sarong for $50. Would make a great gift — I also like this sort of thing to throw over my shoulders when wearing all white everything.
+I have seen a number of beautifully-appointed ladies sporting Alessandra Rich’s gingham knit dresses this season. This cropped cardigan nails the look for under $100 and would look amazing paired with a white blouse and white denim.
+In love with these personalized stripe notepads.
+Speaking of pretty paper, bought these petite note cards at the last second for my Easter table (loads of spring tabletop decor ideas here), but will eagerly use the leftovers to tuck in with gifts or drop under the door of a neighbor.
+More lovely stationery and paper ideas from this Etsy seller.
+How amazing are these $17 little boy traditional summer pajamas?! With the stripes?! So good!
+Swim for littles here.