It was A.E. Housman's birthday this week (Robert Frost's, too). It usually takes the sight of blooming trees to remind me of this poem. No blooms yet here.
I have more than doubled the age of the speaker of the poem at this point, but I still have hopes that I'll be able to watch spring come fifty more times. Forty more for sure.
Because there is no "for sure," no way of knowing how many more springs one has, this poem reminds me every year to pay attention as if this might be the last.
Loveliest Of Trees, The Cherry Now
by A. E. Housman
Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide.
Now, of my threescore years and ten,
Twenty will not come again,
And take from seventy springs a score,
It only leaves me fifty more.
And since to look at things in bloom
Fifty springs are little room,
About the woodlands I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow.
Ted Kooser's American Life in Poetry column featured another (modern) blooming cherry tree poem this week, by Judith Harris. Here is the last stanza:
It is only April.
I can't stop my own life
from hurrying by.
The moon, already pacing.
The roundup today is at Cuentecitos.