— 1 April 2006 —

April Is the Cruellest Month

There are many things that April brings. This April marks a couple of anniversaries. Well, I am sure it marks millions of anniversaries, but there are only a couple I care about.

First, yet leastmost, is the tenth anniversary of National Poetry Month, hence the tried-and-true, Spring-specific, poetry prologues below.

Second, yet mostmost, is the thirteenth anniversary of Me and Claire, hence the picture of us being incredibly cute below.

matthew and claire oliphant

We got together on 01 April 1993, in Ashland, Oregon. It was just after midnight. She came up to my dorm room because I was feeling down. On 31 March, we weren’t together. The next day we were. Everything hasn’t been perfect. In fact there are a couple of years in that thirteen that really sucked. Yet here we are.

Today, we both have a cold. Sagan is bursting with energy and we have none, which makes us very boring parents. But it is still our anniversary. The day will be extremely low-key. There will be other years where we can celebrate traditionally. I say “traditional” becuase I don’t think there is a proper way to celebrate something which makes you happy. Today, we celebrate by using a lot of tissues, coughing, and saying, “Meh” a lot. Next year, it’s off to the Algarve for a few weeks of villa life. Or maybe we just stick around here.

Happy Poetry Month. Go read a poem out loud to someone else. Once I get my energy back I will read a poem to Claire. “To Claire, to Claire, whose Yes set my life a-flare!” Or maybe something better.

April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
Winter kept us warm, covering
Earth in forgetful snow, feeding
A little life with dried tubers.
Summer surprised us, coming over the Starnbergersee
With a shower of rain; we stopped in the colonnade,
And went on in sunlight, into the Hofgarten,
And drank coffee, and talked for an hour.
Bin gar keine Russin, stamm’ aus Litauen, echt deutsch.
And when we were children, staying at the archduke’s,
My cousin’s, he took me out on a sled,
And I was frightened. He said, Marie,
Marie, hold on tight. And down we went.
In the mountains, there you feel free.
I read, much of the night, and go south in the winter.

TS Eliot, The Waste Land, The Burial of the Dead

Whan that Aprille with his shoures sote
The Droghte of Marche hath perced to the rote,
And bathed every veyne in swich licour,
Of which vertu engendred is the flour;
Whan Zephirus eek with his swete breeth
Inspired hath in every holt and heeth
The tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne
Hath in the Ram his halfe course y-ronne,
And smale fowles maken melodye,
That slepen al the night with open ye, –
So priketh hem nature in hir corage:
Than longen folk to goon on pilgrimages –
And palmers for to seken straunge stronde –
To ferne halwes, couthe in sondry londes;
And specially, from every shires ende
Of Engelond, to Caunterbury they wende,
The holy blisful martir for to seke,
That hem hath holpen, whan that they were seke.

Chaucer, The Cantebury Tales Prologue

Can you read that in the original? Maybe I should do a podcast… :)

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