Spring Is Icumen In–Sing Cuccu

thrush

Yesterday we sang a joyful ditty to spring (prematurely) . Today we double down, figuring singing generates heat, so what the heck.

Yes, there’s the famous olde English round, “Sumer Is Icumen In–Cuccu!” but really, emotions run much higher when we sing invitations to spring. Summer? It can wait. Once we get there, we’ll do nothing but gripe about the heat and humidity anyway.

But spring? It’s less than two weeks away. Don’t believe me? I yield the floor to an expert. An expert grouch, that is. Even he looks happy (for him) in this paean to spring:

 

Coming
by Philip Larkin

On longer evenings,
Light, chill and yellow,
Bathes the serene
Foreheads of houses.
A thrush sings,
Laurel-surrounded
In the deep bare garden,
Its fresh-peeled voice
Astonishing the brickwork.
It will be spring soon,
It will be spring soon —
And I, whose childhood
Is a forgotten boredom,
Feel like a child
Who comes on a scene
Of adult reconciling,
And can understand nothing
But the unusual laughter,
And starts to be happy.

 

Instead of “Cuccu!” this thrush sings “It will be spring soon, / It will be spring soon.” I like that in a thrush. Repetitive to the point of inexplicable giddiness, to the point where Larkin, whose childhood was boring like yours and mine, “can understand nothing / But the unusual laughter, / And starts to be happy.”

Take that thought (Larkin smiling) and sound (thrush singing) to work with you today. The “fresh-peeled voice” that astonishes brickwork will lift you like nothing else. Then you can laugh at winter’s remnants.

It will feel good, I promise. Even if it’s in public. Even if you look downright cuccu.

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