“April is the cruellest month.”
With that memorable line T. S. Eliot opens his poetic masterwork “The Wasteland.”
For Christians pondering Christ’s suffering and death at Good Friday services around the world today, Eliot’s description may feel spot on.
Yet there is much more to April than cruelty, just as there is more to the Easter story than suffering and death. As Sara Coleridge reminds us in her sing-song poem “The Months“: “April brings the primrose sweet, / Scatters daises at our feet.”
April is a time “when the world is mud- / luscious” and “puddle-wonderful” (in the words of e. e. cummings) — when, as the great hymn writer Fanny Crosby puts it in her “Spring Hymn“: “There’s music in the forest, amid the branches fair; / There’s music in the valley, and beauty everywhere.”
April is also (if you haven’t yet guessed it) National Poetry Month.
To celebrate, the folks at EBYR recently submitted three “book spine poems” (so called because they are composed by selecting and stacking book spines one on top of another to create semi-coherent verse) to the 2012 Book Spine Poem Gallery at Travis Jonker’s 100 Scope Notes blog.
Here are the three they submitted:
A fourth poem — a (rhyming!) two-stanza Easter poem — they saved especially for Eerdword, and we share it with you as an Easter greeting today.
Granted, none of these little poems comes close to matching the artistry of Shakespeare or Coleridge (Sara or Samuel Taylor) — or of Shaw, Walker, or Jellema. They were fun to think up, though.
If you’ve ever tried your hand at book spine poetry (or are suddenly inspired to give it a go), we’d love to hear about it. Let us know in the comments.