If you feel the tender shoots and buds of April, set out with Chaucer’s nine and twenty pilgrims. The Canterbury Tales commence in April, and it seems all of literature follows suit. The most mentioned month in the western canon, it gave inspiration to Dickinson, Larkin, Plath, Glück, and sundry others.
We are all poets in springtime it seems.
In a letter to his friend Socius Senecio around 100 AD, Pliny the Younger wrote
This year has produced a plentiful crop of poets: during the whole month of April scarcely a day has passed on which we have not been entertained with the recital of some poem. It is a pleasure to me to find that a taste for polite literature still exists and that men of genius do come forward and make themselves known, notwithstanding the lazy attendance they get for their pains.
The new life of spring easily aligns with April’s ecclesiastical roots and the Jewish Feast of Passover; the forerunner of Christianity’s Good Friday and Easter. Here on Literary Life, we continue our Lenten study of The Word in the Wilderness with our friend Malcolm Guite.
Let us know; let us press on to know the LORD;
his going out is sure as the dawn;
he will come to us as the showers,
as the spring rains that water the earth.
Welcome to Literary Life.
Rick Wilcox | Editor in Chief