Despite the title, this poem from Dylan Thomas is not so much just about springtime, but about the passing of the seasons and being alert to the signs given by nature, changing according to the time of year.
Here In This Spring
Poem by Dylan Thomas
Here in this spring, stars float along the void;
Here in this ornamental winter
Down pelts the naked weather;
This summer buries a spring bird.
Symbols are selected from the years’
Slow rounding of four seasons’ coasts,
In autumn teach three seasons’ fires
And four birds’ notes.
I should tell summer from the trees, the worms
Tell, if at all, the winter’s storms
Or the funeral of the sun;
I should learn spring by the cuckooing,
And the slug should teach me destruction.
A worm tells summer better than the clock,
The slug’s a living calendar of days;
What shall it tell me if a timeless insect
Says the world wears away?
Thomas goes through the four seasons, first spring, then winter, then summer and finally autumn, but each season is seen as here and now, not remembered or anticipated. The tone is reflective and observational, calm and measured. It is as if the poet is telling us to take a deep breath and look around us, watch the natural world. The main way we should stay in touch with the passing of the seasons is by observing the trees, the worms, the birds, the slugs. (Or here in Texas, perhaps the alligators, raccoons and opossums…)
The Poetry Dude