The Easter Flower
by Claude McKay
Far from this foreign Easter damp and chilly
My soul steals to a pear-shaped plot of ground,
Where gleamed the lilac-tinted Easter lily
Soft-scented in the air for yards around;
Alone, without a hint of guardian leaf!
Just like a fragile bell of silver rime,
It burst the tomb for freedom sweet and brief
In the young pregnant year at Eastertime;
And many thought it was a sacred sign,
And some called it the resurrection flower;
And I, a pagan, worshiped at its shrine,
Yielding my heart unto its perfumed power.
“In China, the azalea flower is thought to be a strong symbol of womanhood. In other parts of the world they are thought to represent passion and fragility; however, these flowers are best known for their expression of “take care of yourself.” These flowers are frequently given as gifts to pass along the wish that the recipient be good to himself – especially during illness or trying times.” *
“You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep spring from coming.” — Pablo Neruda
Tree and stone glittered, without shadows.
My finger-length grew lucent as glass.
I started to bud like a March twig:
An arm and a leg, an arm, a leg.
From stone to cloud, so I ascended.
“The daffodil is our door side queen;
She pushes upward the sword already,
To spot with sunshine the early green.”
William Cullen Bryant, An Invitation to the Country.
Lines Written in Early Spring
I heard a thousand blended notes,
While in a grove I sate reclined,
In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts
Bring sad thoughts to the mind.
To her fair works did Nature link
The human soul that through me ran;
And much it grieved my heart to think
What man has made of man.
Through primrose tufts, in that green bower,
The periwinkle trailed its wreaths;
And ’tis my faith that every flower
Enjoys the air it breathes.
The birds around me hopped and played,
Their thoughts I cannot measure:—
But the least motion which they made
It seemed a thrill of pleasure.
The budding twigs spread out their fan,
To catch the breezy air;
And I must think, do all I can,
That there was pleasure there.
If this belief from heaven be sent,
If such be Nature’s holy plan,
Have I not reason to lament
What man has made of man?
“A light exists in Spring
Not present in the year
at any other period
When March is scarcely here.”
“We are born of love; Love is our mother.” — Rumi