Fotor0503142835New York’s Jefferson Market Garden in full spring bloom; the editor enjoying the same.
Flower photos by Sivan Butler-Rotholz. Editor photo by Frank Ortega.

Poems & Excerpts For Spring:

For winter’s rains and ruins are over,
And all the season of snows and sins;
The days dividing lover and lover,
The light that loses, the night that wins;
And time remembered is grief forgotten,
And frosts are slain and flowers begotten,
And in green underwood and cover
Blossom by blossom the spring begins.

                          – Algernon Charles Swinburne (1837–1909)
                            Atalanta in Calydon (1865)

Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough.

                          – A.E. Housman (1859–1936)
                            A Shropshire Lad (1896)

The month of May was come,
when every lusty heart beginneth
to blossom, and to bring forth fruit;
for like as herbs and trees bring
forth fruit and flourish in May,
in likewise every lusty heart
that is in any manner a lover,
springeth and flourisheth in lusty deeds.
For it giveth unto all lovers courage,
that lusty month of May.

                          – Sir Thomas Malory (d. 1471)
                            Le Morte d’Arthur (1485)

A little Madness in the Spring
Is wholesome even for the King.

                          – Emily Dickinson (1830–1886)
                            No. 1333 (c.1875)

(Today’s poems are in the public domain, belong to the masses, and appear here today accordingly.)

Editor’s Note: Why? “For winter’s rains and ruins are over,” and the trees are “hung with bloom[s] along the bough.” Because “that lusty month of May” is here, and there is “[a] little Madness in the Spring.” Because everywhere I turn there are bright colors, sweet sights and smells of spring blossoms, and new life overtaking what was once the winter earth. Because it is spring! Nature is putting on her party dress and blessing us with glorious, beautiful spring. And what better way to welcome this lovely season than with poetry?

Want to read more spring poems?
Edna St. Vincent Millay gives the month of April a run for her money
The Poetry Foundation

The Itch

Published by New American Press (2008)

The Itch

by Miriam N. Kotzin

On certain summer afternoons
when shadows stretch across the lawn
and deer come out—five doe, one fawn—
a distant wood thrush pipes his tunes.

The deer have come to graze on grass
and eat some apples from the tree.
There’s fruit enough for them and me—
the wood thrush song like opal glass.

But not all afternoons are filled
with ease. Some days all song is stilled—
by what? Perhaps I do not hear,
attending only to what’s near,
distracted, itching to be thrilled.
But air born song cannot be willed.


Miriam N. Kotzin teaches at Drexel University where she also co-directs the Certificate Program in Writing and Publishing. Her work has been appeared or is forthcoming in SmokeLong Quarterly, Shenandoah, Anemone Sidecar, MAYDAY Magazine, Frigg Magazine, and Boulevard. She is the author of the poetry collections Taking Stock; Weights & Measures; and Reclaiming the Dead. “The Itch” was first published in Boulevard, appears in A Handbook of Poetics Including Odd and Invented Forms, Revised an Expanded (4th edition), and is in her forthcoming collection The Body’s Bride. It is reprinted here with permission from the author.