March

March in Portland means weather of every kind (hail, sun, snow, rain, freezing, 60°) in a single day on most days. The weather in March poems ranges too. In Lizette Woodworth Reese’s Mid-March “It is too early for white boughs, too late / For snows” and “The days go out with shouting.”  Swinburne‘s March is a “master of winds, bright minstrel and marshal of storms that enkindle the season they smite,” but William Matthew’s March is hot, with thick air — “Nothing can ease the March heat / nor make it stay.”

In Elizabeth Spires’ “Ocean City: Early March” the month is moody and gray with storm. Dickinson, however, invites March in,

Oh March, Come right upstairs with me –
I have so much to tell –

I got your letter, and the Birds –
The Maples never knew that you were coming –
I declare – how Red their Faces grew –

But I think my favorite of these March poems is “Late March” by Edward Hirsch, in which the day is

[…] blue, preternaturally blue,
like the sky in a Magritte painting,
and cold, vividly cold, so that
you could clap your hands and remember
winter, which had left a few moments ago—
if you strained you could almost see it
disappearing over the hills in a black parka.
“Spring was coming but hadn’t arrived yet” says Hirsch, and  Dickinson cries, ” Who knocks? That April – / Lock the door – / I will not be pursued – / He stayed away a Year to call.” But April will come soon enough, with its babbling and flowers…
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