I glance at the kitchen clock. It’s past midnight and I’m alone, reminiscing about the old days when the hum and click-clack of my typewriter provided a bit of company. Now all I hear are driving rain and vehement claps of thunder after each flash of lightening that fractures the starless sky. Once again, there’s a chill in the air.
How could it be just a few hours earlier, I’d strolled through fragrant, sun-drenched streets festooned with azaleas, dogwood and magnolia blossoms?
Simple answer: It’s April––that irrational month which feels like an extended metaphor for life. Edna St. Vincent Millay, whose own circumstances and temperament were every bit as capricious and bittersweet, illuminated this parallel through the desperate humor of this poem:
SpringTo what purpose, April, do you return again?Beauty is not enough.You can no longer quiet me with the rednessOf little leaves opening stickily.I know what I know.The sun is hot on my neck as I observeThe spikes of the crocus.The smell of the earth is good.It is apparent that there is no death.But what does that signify?Not only under ground are the brains of menEaten by maggots.Life in itselfIs nothing,An empty cup, a flight of uncarpeted stairs.It is not enough that yearly, down this hill,AprilComes like an idiot, babbling and strewing flowers.— Edna St. Vincent Millay, 1921