Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Spring busts out in the Berkshires, but “Nothing Gold Can Stay”

T. S. Eliot wrote that “April is the cruelest month,” but it was another poet that better described our Berkshires today.

After recent rains the season's first really hot day brought out the early buds, as well as lawn rakers and walkers out taking the air after a long winter indoors.

The Forsythia bloomed since yesterday, and the branches are full of the delicate gold that a week from now will be the green leaves of spring.

Our great New England poet Robert Frost described such days in his poem:

Nothing Gold Can Stay

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leafs a flower; 

But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf. 

So Eden sank to grief, 

So dawn goes down to day. 

Nothing gold can stay.

Robert Frost
(October 1923, The Yale Review)

(Photo:  R. L. Floyd)


  1. so dawn goes down to day...

    An odd line, isn't it? Day is not worse than the dawn. How can it be said to go down at all?

    In the words of the old man, you need to do all sorts of outdoor schooling to keep up with his type of fooling.

    this is the fortunate fall, brought to verse.

  2. I heard it was lovely there today- sorry to have missed it, though I'd be happy to share Chicago's current torrential downpour.

    Happy Spring, nonetheless! :)

  3. Barr,

    I think the line refers to the golden splendor of a glorious dawn morphing into a normal day. As simple as that.

    I love the terse brevity of the poem, and, of course, the reference to the Fall! I know it has been the thing to dismiss Frost of late as a kind of Norman Rockwell word-monger, but I still love his stuff.

    But then again, I love Rockwell, too.



  4. Kiki!

    Glad to see your blog is up on the feed again. NetworkedBlogs is showing all my posts as unpublished now. Yours?