1 March 2018

Greeting March

Art for March – Sandro Botticelli: “Primavera”

Origins

In the words of one writer, “The name of March comes from ‘Martius’, the first month of the earliest Roman calendar. It was named after Mars, the Roman god of war, who was also regarded as a guardian of agriculture and an ancestor of the Roman people through his sons Romulus and Remus. His month Martius was the beginning of the season for both farming and warfare, and the festivals held in his honor during the month were mirrored by others in October, when the season for these activities came to a close.”

Below – “March,” from the “Tres Riches Heures du Duc de Berry” (1412-1416).

Art for March – Claude Monet: “Springtime”


A Poem for March

“Dear March – Come in -“
by Emily Dickinson

Dear March – Come in –
How glad I am –
I hoped for you before –
Put down your Hat –
You must have walked –
How out of Breath you are –
Dear March, how are you, and the Rest –
Did you leave Nature well –
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 March, forgive me –
And all those Hills you left for me to Hue –
There was no Purple suitable –
You took it all with you –

Who knocks? That April –
Lock the Door –
I will not be pursued –
He stayed away a Year to call
When I am occupied –
But trifles look so trivial
As soon as you have come

That blame is just as dear as Praise
And Praise as mere as Blame –


Art for March – Paul Cezanne: “The Four Seasons: Spring”


Musings in March: L.M. Montgomery

“March came in that winter like the meekest and mildest of lambs, bringing days that were crisp and golden and tingling, each followed by a frosty pink twilight which gradually lost itself in an elfland of moonshine.”

Art for March – Pablo Picasso: “Spring”

For Your Information: 1 March is National Pig Day in the United States.

Art for March – John Everett Millais: “Spring (Apple Blossoms)”


A Second Poem for March

“March”
by Richard Kenney

Sky a shook poncho.
Roof   wrung. Mind a luna moth
Caught in a banjo.

This weather’s witty
Peek-a-boo. A study in
Insincerity.

Blues! Blooms! The yodel
Of   the chimney in night wind.
That flat daffodil.

With absurd hauteur
New tulips dab their shadows
In water-mutter.

Boys are such oxen.
Girls! — sepal-shudder, shadow-
Waver. Equinox.

Plums on the Quad did
Blossom all at once, taking
Down the power grid.


Art for March – Vincent van Gogh: “Flowering almond branch in a glass with a Book”


Musings in March: Charles Dickens

“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.”


Art for March – Gustav Klimt: “Farm Garden with Sunflowers”

Remembering a Writer on the Date of His Birth: Born 1 March 1917 – Robert Lowell, an American poet, recipient of the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Pulitzer Prize of Poetry (twice).

“Children of Light”
by Robert Lowell

Our fathers wrung their bread from stocks and stones
And fenced their gardens with the Redmen’s bones;
Embarking from the Nether Land of Holland,
Pilgrims unhouseled by Geneva’s night,
They planted here the Serpent’s seeds of light;
And here the pivoting searchlights probe to shock
The riotous glass houses built on rock,
And candles gutter by an empty altar,
And light is where the landless blood of Cain
Is burning, burning the unburied grain.


Art for March – Edward Hopper: “South Carolina Morning”


Worth a Thousand Words: The slopes on the peak of of Mount Golica in Slovenia are covered with wild Narcissus in late May; photograph by Anne Maenum.

Art for March – John Singer Sargent: Claude Monet Painting by the Edge of a Wood”

Remembering a Writer on the Date of His Birth: Born 1 March 1941 – Robert Hass, an American poet, translator, critic, and recipient of the National Book Award and Pulitzer (shared).

“Meditation at Lagunitas”
by Robert Hass

All the new thinking is about loss.
In this it resembles all the old thinking.
The idea, for example, that each particular erases
the luminous clarity of a general idea. That the clown-
faced woodpecker probing the dead sculpted trunk
of that black birch is, by his presence,
some tragic falling off from a first world
of undivided light. Or the other notion that,
because there is in this world no one thing
to which the bramble of blackberry corresponds,
a word is elegy to what it signifies.
We talked about it late last night and in the voice
of my friend, there was a thin wire of grief, a tone
almost querulous. After a while I understood that,
talking this way, everything dissolves: justice,
pine, hair, woman, you and I. There was a woman
I made love to and I remembered how, holding
her small shoulders in my hands sometimes,
I felt a violent wonder at her presence
like a thirst for salt, for my childhood river
with its island willows, silly music from the pleasure boat,
muddy places where we caught the little orange-silver fish
called pumpkinseed. It hardly had to do with her.
Longing, we say, because desire is full
of endless distances. I must have been the same to her.
But I remember so much, the way her hands dismantled bread,
the thing her father said that hurt her, what
she dreamed. There are moments when the body is as numinous
as words, days that are the good flesh continuing.
Such tenderness, those afternoons and evenings,
saying blackberry, blackberry, blackberry.

Art for March – John William Waterhouse: “Spring (The Flower Picker)”

Welcome, Wonderful March

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