Cruel April

I just read the NOAA weather map for later this week. Oh my! Minnesota Baboons may get a lot of snow! Son and DIL could get 20 inches in Brookings.

It has warmed up sufficiently here that people are jumping into yard work, cleaning flower beds and mowing lawns (which they oughtn’t do yet as it is too early).  Husband and I are waiting to do any yard work until we return from a trip next Sunday.  We first plan to prepare the garden for pea, lettuce, and spinach seeds, which we will plant later in April.  Husband tilled last fall, so we won’t need to do that now. The tomato and pepper seedlings are coming along under the grow lights, Tulips are up and crocuses are blooming.  We have pruning and flower bed cleaning to do, too.

I always find April a chancy month to garden. One April many years ago I was awaiting the first blooming of some tulips I had planted in the fall, when, on April 28, we got 18 inches of heavy wet snow. The tulips had flower buds just ready to open, and there they were, frozen solid just above the snow line. I had to wait another year to see them bloom.   April is the cruelest month. Sometimes March is just as bad, though.

What are your favorite and least favorite months? Any favorite T.S. Elliot poems? 

 

28 thoughts on “Cruel April”

  1. I think my favorite month is probably July. Although I am a winter person at heart, I do love my peak flower season for my yard. And that’s July.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    In the mIdwest my least favorite month is March, which only edges out November. They are both grey and dreary, not to mention tiiresome. I thought March in AZ would be beautiful, and it is. I am allergic to ALL of it, though. November in AZ is beautiful temperatures and allergy free!

    This March was miserable–Lou’s best friend died, a colleague died, and my friend’s daughter went into kidney failure. It was very difficult emotionally. Last Thursday I commenced a 3 day teaching gig, and that same morning the daughter had a kidney transplant from which she is recovering beautifully. April is already improved, even with a storm pending.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Morning–
    April is pretty nice with the grass greening up and it starts to get the ‘dirt’ smells and rain smells.
    I really like spring planting and doing fieldwork… but I like harvest and fall fieldwork too. And last fall I didn’t get any fieldwork done so this spring will be that too. (Fall fieldwork in the spring; is it ‘spring fieldwork’ or ‘fall fieldwork’??)
    March is rough. So is February…

    I’m part of an outdoor play. It takes place in the front seat of 7 different cars. The audience of 2 or 3 sit in the backseat and the actors move between the 7 cars. The shows are all between 7 and 10 minutes long. Between shows we stand outside waiting for the next car. I don’t want to do this in the snow…
    Last Thursday was cold and rainy and that wasn’t any fun either. This has been a good learning experience for all of us. Next time we’ll try it in June.

    I don’t know any poetry.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. The line about April being the cruelest month is from Eliot’s “The Wasteland,” a poem I hate. The speaker is so depressed and comfortable in his numb and hopeless existence that the idea of spring is a threat. I not only don’t agree with that; I despise the cowardice it reflects. April signals the return of sunlight, flowers, color, sweet smells, birds singing, sex and other harbingers of renewing life. I love it.

    Favorite time (in Minnesota): mid-May when trees are budding and the woodlands become almost as complexly beautiful as they get in autumn. In the middle of May you can smell the renewal of life.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Whoa, Steve, that’s strong language in your opening paragraph. How can you hate “The Wasteland”? I’d like to point out, though, that the narrator of those opening lines in “The Wasteland” is a woman, not a he. It’s on a day like today that I wish you still lived close by so we could have a spirited conversation about why you are wrong about this poem. (Just in case it isn’t obvious, I’m poking at you with a big stick – joking, if you will.) 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

        1. I’ll be right there, ready to poke ya. Actually, Steve, there is a place here on the West Side that sounds like it would fit your particular need. It’s called Serenity. They have a large complex of buildings that house everything from independent living in small efficiency apartments, to assisted living, and full-on nursing care. If you’re interested in exploring what they have and their requirements, let me know, and I’ll try to find some information for you.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. May and October. Both are an explosion of color – May with the beautiful yellow-green of spring and bright flowers after the monotones of winter. October with oranges, scarlets, golds after the greens of summer and before the browns and grays of November.

    I can’t live without color.

    Some years it’s April instead of May, depends on when spring really arrives.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Allow me a small OT. Today, April 9th, marks the 79th anniversary of the German occupation of Denmark during WWII. It’s a day that is still commemorated by lighted candles in the windows of homes all over Denmark.

    Also, April is my birthday month, so I have a soft spot for April. If I’m lucky, my birthday at the end of the month is one of those few perfect days that tim sometimes talks about. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, there are few things more beautiful than a walk in a Danish beech forest in very late April of early May.

    Liked by 5 people

  7. My favorite months have been mentioned – they happen to be the months with well-known songs – April, May, June, and September.
    Here’s June, which at least mentions the other months… at about 50 seconds in:

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  8. March is my least favorite month. April can be good, but not always. I really like October. July was always lovely in Winnipeg.

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  9. What is the point of “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats”? Elliot had such an unhappy first marriage. He didn’t find happiness until the autumn of his life. He and one of the Baboons are from the same home town.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ooh, yes, I meant to post something from Old Possum’… which I once owned since it provided the lyrics to the Cats musical (from the Poetry Nook https://www.poetrynook.com/poem/rum-tum-tugger ) :

      The Rum Tum Tugger

      The Rum Tum Tugger is a Curious Cat:
      If you offer him pheasant he would rather have grouse.
      If you put him in a house he would much prefer a flat,
      If you put him in a flat then he’d rather have a house.
      If you set him on a mouse then he only wants a rat,
      If you set him on a rat then he’d rather chase a mouse.
      Yes the Rum Tum Tugger is a Curious Cat—
      And there isn’t any call for me to shout it:
      For he will do
      As he do do
      And there’s no doing anything about it!

      The Rum Tum Tugger is a terrible bore:
      When you let him in, then he wants to be out;
      He’s always on the wrong side of every door,
      As soon as he’s at home, then he’d like to get about.
      He likes to lie in the bureau drawer,
      But he makes such a fuss if he can’t get out.
      Yes the Rum Tum Tugger is a Curious Cat—
      And it isn’t any use for you to doubt it:
      For he will do
      As he do do
      And there’s no doing anything about it!

      The Rum Tum Tugger is a curious beast:
      His disobliging ways are a matter of habit.
      If you offer him fish then he always wants a feast;
      When there isn’t any fish then he won’t eat rabbit.
      If you offer him cream then he sniffs and sneers,
      For he only likes what he finds for himself;
      So you’ll catch him in it right up to the ears,
      If you put it away on the larder shelf.
      The Rum Tum Tugger is artful and knowing,
      The Rum Tum Tugger doesn’t care for a cuddle;
      But he’ll leap on your lap in the middle of your sewing,
      For there’s nothing he enjoys like a horrible muddle.
      Yes the Rum Tum Tugger is a Curious Cat—
      And there isn’t any need for me to spout it:
      For he will do
      As he do do
      And there’s no doing anything about it!

      by T. S. Eliot

      Liked by 2 people

  10. I feel a hesitation about choosing a favorite T.S. Eliot poem similar to my reluctance to choosing a favorite Joni Mitchell song, and for similar reasons. Sometimes I want lighter fare that doesn’t require the mental energy that much of Eliot’s work requires. You don’t just breeze through “The Wasteland,” “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” or “The Hollow Men.” But on days when my brain is firing on all cylinders, and I’m ready to take on some mental challenges, Eliot provides a feast. I love the whimsy in work like “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats,” but other days “Ash-Wednesday,” is what I crave. As Mr. Armstrong used to say: “Sometimes I sits and thinks; sometimes I just sits.”

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Well, now I am intrigued, by PJ’s (and Steve’s earlier) reaction to T.S. I’m sure I read something by him in school, but have never explored… I’ve just looked him up in a1939 poetry anthology I’ve kept (my folks’ from college?) that states: his “mood was a mixture of irony and despair: it expressed a world of insecurity and bewilderment. Eliot mirrored an age shell-shocked by war and assaulted by economic uncertainty.. in which faiths had been shattered and foundations had crumbled… spoke… of those who were hopeless, or helpless, or spiritually disposed.” (from The New Modern American & British Poetry, ed. Louis Untermeyer.)

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  12. i am often gone to china in april. i get back may s beginning
    i miss my favorite part of spring when stuff turns from kind of getting there to wow it’s here.
    i used to drive to florida for spring break and about tennessee spring happens and by florida it’s done and then on the way back you chase it back and hit just as it arrives . there is a bush that blooms kind of a magenta bloom on a slate blue sided house
    when the trees bloom i love it. it’s a week or 10 days of glory.
    i like july because i can camp. june is iffy. but how can you not love love love june.
    my 10 perfect days are supposed to be in april and may for sitting on the porch guitar playing criteria… not too hot or humid, no bugs, so you can play unmolested by deterrents for entire days in april and may can’t beat that
    the state fair kiss on the cheek to bid farewell to summer is bittersweet but wonderful.
    geeze i used to love heading to montana the week after christmas to ski for 10 days
    january in the mountains is glorious. when you’re from minnesota it’s not cold. it only gets to zero. any minnesotan can do zero, but snow in the mountains… to die for

    Liked by 4 people

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