Saturday, March 21, 2020

World Poetry Day & Spring time : let's talk about poetry & hope !

William Blake

"Sound the flute!
Now it's mute!
Birds delight,
Day and night,
In the dale,
Lark in sky, -
Merrily, merrily to welcome in the year.(...)

William Blake, Spring (Songs of Innocence)

On a Spring afternoon, a poem we can recite that makes spring seem more intensely itself. Even on a rainy afternoon like this one.

Yes, today we celebrate World Poetry DayThe observance of World Poetry Day is also meant "to encourage a return to the oral tradition of poetry recitals, to promote the teaching of poetry, to restore a dialogue between poetry and the other arts such as theatre, dance, music and painting, and to support small publishers and create an attractive image of poetry in the media, so that the art of poetry will no longer be considered an outdated form of art, but one which enables society as a whole to regain and assert its identity."

United Nations

  • William Blake:

Spring is a lyric poem written and illustrated by William Blake. It was first published in Songs of Innocence (1789) and later in Songs of Innocence and Experience (1794).

Songs of Innocence and Experience
William Blake

Songs of Innocence and of Experience is an illustrated collection of poems by William Blake. It appeared in two phases. A few first copies were printed and illuminated by William Blake himself in 1789.

William Blake
by Thomas Philips, 1807

Little boy,
Full of joy;
Little girl,
Sweet and small;
Cock does crow,
So do you;
Merry voice,
Infant noise;
Merrily, merrily, to welcome in the year.(...)

William Blake was an English poet, painter, engraver, and visionary. Largely unrecognized during his lifetime, Blake is now considered a seminal figure in the history of the poetry and visual arts of the Romantic Age

Blake was placed at number 38 in the BBC's poll of the 100 Greatest Britons. Though in his lifetime his work was largely neglected or dismissed  he is now considered one of the leading lights of English poetry, and his work has only grown in popularity.

While he lived in London his entire life, except for three years spent in Felpham, he produced a diverse and symbolically rich œuvre, which embraced the imagination as "the body of God" or "human existence itself".

Little lamb,
Here I am;
Come and lick
My white neck;
Let me pull
Your soft wool;
Let me kiss
Your soft face;
Merrily, merrily, to welcome in the year.

William Blake, Spring


  • Style & Interpretation:

The poem is split into three stanzas. The rhyme scheme goes AABBCCDDE. The last line of each stanza is the same to show the joy the author has for this time of year. The poem is written in dactylic feet

"Spring" is a happily written poem with a hint of rhyme. Devoted to Blake's favorite things, each stanza describing a particular thing. The first stanza is about birds and a bush, the second a little boy and a little girl, and in the final stanza the lamb and "I". This format shows the transition from innocence to a bit of romance, where the child and lamb become close. 

Useful link for students:

The William Blake Archive

Pink Peach Tree in Blossom (Reminiscence of Mauve),1888
by Van Gogh

Spring is back! Yesterday, the 2020 March was the first day of Spring 2020. Also known as the vernal equinoxIt may still be frosty around Portugal, but birds are singing outdoors, on the trees. We listen and try to not think about the social isolation.

Lisboa Ainda

Lisboa não tem beijos nem abraços
não tem risos nem esplanadas
não tem passos
nem raparigas e rapazes de mãos dadas
tem praças cheias de ninguém


fechada dentro de si mesma ainda é Lisboa
cidade aberta
ainda é Lisboa de Pessoa alegre e triste
e em cada rua deserta

ainda resiste

Manuel Alegre, Lisboa Ainda, 20 March 2020
Portuguese poet on his Facebook page

Kids painting spring birds
credits: Creative Moon blog for kids

May be birds feel that we need some joy - they are very happy, believe me! - around the sadness caused by the coronavirus that appeared in Europe some weeks before Spring. We stay home and avoid contact with other people, all over Europe. We obey to the social distance rules.

So we can't feel the the happiness of Spring. We don't go for a walk, even Japan cancelled the traditional Cherry Blossom Season

However, we the humans are kind. Creativity, kindness ans canals offers hope amid outbreak around all Europe. And Italians are so inspiring!


Teachers don't have students at school. Students are at home. The number of children, youth and adults not attending schools or universities because of COVID-19 is soaring. Governments all around the world have closed educational institutions in an attempt to contain the global pandemic
(link is external)
Teachers help them to study at home. It's not Easter time. Students are on quarantine. But teachers are in contact with their students on WhatsApp, Skype, email, social media and some educational platforms.

However kids are anxious! All the family is. They don't go to school because a virus. At home on TV, on Internet and on social media are talking and talking about it. There are some real images. But so cruel to kids!

Why not to tell a story of hope - spring is here - reading aloud to the little ones  the book And Then it's Spring by Julie Fogliano, illustrated by Erin E. Stead. 

After, ask the students to go on YouTube watching the video.

And Then it's Spring
written by Julie Fogilano
illustrated by Erin E. Stead
Roaring Brook Press, 2012


Following a snow-filled winter, a young boy and his dog decide that they've had enough of all that brown and resolve to plant a garden. They dig, they plant, they play, they wait . . . and wait . . . until at last, the brown becomes a more hopeful shade of brown, a sign that spring may finally be on its way. Julie Fogliano's tender story of anticipation is brought to life.

"Many treasures lie buried within this endearing story, in which humor and anxious anticipation sprout alongside one another."


There's must be always in our hearts, don't you agree?


Copyright © 2020G-Souto'sBlog,®

Creative Commons License
World Poetry Day & Spring time : let's talk about poetry and hope ! by G-Souto is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

No comments:

Post a Comment