I don't think of Laurie Lee as a poet, but as the author of Cider With Rosie and As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning, a wonderful memoir of Spain during the Civil War. But here is something I find rather special - set in April, but really a poem of the burgeoning growth in the garden and the woods, something I am enjoying watching in a headlong rush in Dorset. Here is Laurie Lee's April Rise:
If ever I saw blessing in the air
I see it now in this still early day
Where lemon-green the vaporous morning drips
Wet sunlight on the powder of my eye.
Blown bubble-film of blue, the sky wraps round
Weeds of warm light whose every root and rod
Splutters with soapy green, and all the world
Sweats with the bead of summer in its bud.
If ever I heard blessing it is there
Where birds in trees that shoals and shadows are
Splash with their hidden wings and drops of sound
Break on my ears their crests of throbbing air.
Pure in the haze the emerald sun dilates,
The lips of sparrows milk the mossy stones,
While white as water by the lake a girl
Swims her green hand among the gathered swans.
Now, as the almond burns its smoking wick,
Dropping small flames to light the candled grass;
Now, as my low blood scales its second chance,
If ever world were blessed, now it is.