April Showers

The leaves are fresh after the rain,
The air is cool and clear,
The sun is shining warm again,
The sparrows hopping in the lane
Are brisk and full of cheer.

And that is why we dance and play,
And that is why we sing,
Calling out in voices gay,
We will not go to school to-day
Or learn anything:

It is a happy thing, I say,
To be alive on such a day.

by James Stephens

Comments (12)

'fell', an adjective meaning 'cruel'. A warning against complacency
Please take the time to read Phillis' biography. You'll find that she was a slave who lived and died before the 19th century and was taught to read by her owners, presumably with their children. I'm sure that some would even think her first name misspelled. Regardless - as a poet I hereby humbly request that after my body expires it would be of particular pleasure to my soul for my words to be presented as I wrote them. I would ask that Phillis' words be kept as is not only for posterity, or to preserve the idea of poetic license, but to more importantly involve the reader with her struggles and the rare oddity that belongs solely to this very lovely and unique woman.
Did nobody else notice that FAREWELL is misspelled by Poem Hunter in the title? Or is that the way Wheatley herself spelled it?
Phillis Wheatley has long been one of my favorite poets. This poem, along with so many others, exemplifies why. It isn't just her classical sense, which I myself adore and adhere to almost religiously as a poet, nor her ability to overcome a society's prejudices, nor in the elegant beauty she used to carefully craft this incredible double sestina, but it is rather the sheer, beautiful, raw placement of her words that always - always completely removes me from my own temporal surroundings and places me squarely into her magical, wonderful world. If I had lived with her contemporary folk I am sure to have strived every moment to be by her side - for I am certain she is the loveliest soul I have ever encountered. The words above are merely long past echoes of her intensely beautiful world. For those commenting on prophecy below - Phillis lived most of her life as a colonist under British rule - although she was a slave she was owned by the Wheatley family, a very progressive couple. At 20 she travelled to England to serve her master's son, first, but to have a better chance at publishing her poetry second. She died in poverty - a free woman. Which is tragedy in my opinion, for to me her poetry surpasses all others of any time.
Adieu, the flow'ry plain: the farewell like a farewell smile and tears.........lovely
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