Below – “March,” from the “Tres Riches Heures du Duc du Barry” (1412-1416)
“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.”
Below – Mary Wilkerson: “Racing Winter Clouds”
Art for March – Evgeny Stasenko: End of Winter”
This Date in Literary History: Born 1 March 1914 – Ralph Ellison, an American novelist, literary critic, author of “The Invisible Man,” and recipient of the National Book Award.
Some quotes from the work of Ralph Ellison:
“I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me.” “Like the bodiless heads you see sometimes in circus sideshows, it is as though I have been surrounded by mirrors of hard, distorting glass. When they approach me they see only my surroundings, themselves or figments of their imagination, indeed, everything and anything except me.”
“Education is all a matter of building bridges.”
“Life is to be lived, not controlled, and humanity is won by continuing to play in face of certain defeat.”
“At best Americans give but a limited attention to history. Too much happens too rapidly, and before we can evaluate it, or exhaust its meaning or pleasure, there is something new to concern us. Ours is the tempo of the motion picture, not that of the still camera, and we waste experience as we wasted the forest.”
“America is woven of many strands. I would recognise them and let it so remain. Our fate is to become one, and yet many. This is not prophecy, but description.”
“I am not ashamed of my grandparents for having been slaves. I am only ashamed of myself for having at one time being ashamed.”
“It goes a long way back, some twenty years. All my life I had been looking for something, and everywhere I turned someone tried to tell me what it was. I accepted their answers too, though they were often in contradiction and even self-contradictory. I was naive. I was looking for myself and asking everyone except myself questions which I, and only I, could answer. It took me a long time and much painful boomeranging of my expectations to achieve a realization everyone else appears to have been born with: That I am nobody but myself. But first I had to discover that I am an invisible man!”
Art for March – Sergey Kachin: “the end of winter”
by A. E. Housman
The Sun at noon to higher air,
Unharnessing the silver Pair
That late before his chariot swam,
Rides on the gold wool of the Ram.
So braver notes the storm-cock sings
To start the rusted wheel of things,
And brutes in field and brutes in pen
Leap that the world goes round again.
The boys are up the woods with day
To fetch the daffodils away,
And home at noonday from the hills
They bring no dearth of daffodils.
Afield for palms the girls repair,
And sure enough the palms are there,
And each will find by hedge or pond
Her waving silver-tufted wand.
In farm and field through all the shire
The eye beholds the heart’s desire;
Ah, let not only mine be vain,
For lovers should be loved again.
Below: Nicole Roggerman: “Holding Hands.”
Art for March – Mihai Mangiulea: “the other end” (photograph)
Musings in March: Emily Dickinson
“A light exists in Spring
Not present in the year
at any other period
When March is scarcely here.”
Below – Seth Winegar: “Spring Light”
Art for March – Savannah Schroll Guz: “Macha and the Night of the Seven Eclipses”
This Date in Literary History: Born 1 March 1917 – Robert Lowell, an American poet and recipient of the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize.
“July in Washington”
by Robert Lowell
The stiff spokes of this wheel
touch the sore spots of the earth.
On the Potomac, swan-white
power launches keep breasting the sulphurous wave.
Otters slide and dive and slick back their hair,
raccoons clean their meat in the creek.
On the circles, green statues ride like South American
liberators above the breeding vegetation—
prongs and spearheads of some equatorial
backland that will inherit the globe.
The elect, the elected . . . they come here bright as dimes,
and die dishevelled and soft.
We cannot name their names, or number their dates—
circle on circle, like rings on a tree—
but we wish the river had another shore
some further range of delectable mountains,
distant hills powdered blue as a girl’s eyelid.
It seems the least little shove would land us there,
that only the slightest repugnance of our bodies
we no longer control could drag us back.
Art for March – Eloisa Ballivian: “Time”
Musings in March: Hal Borland
“March is a tomboy with tousled hair, a mischievous smile, mud on her shoes and a laugh in her voice.”
Below – John George Brown: “The Tomboy”
Art for March – Tal Shpantzer: “Petal” (photograph)
A Poem for March
by Thomas Hardy
O the opal and the sapphire of that wandering western sea,
And the woman riding high above with bright hair flapping free-
The woman whom I loved so, and who loyally loved me.
The pale mews plained below us, and the waves seemed far away
In a nether sky, engrossed in saying their ceaseless babbling say,
As we laughed light-heartedly aloft on that clear-sunned March day.
A little cloud then cloaked us, and there flew an irised rain,
And the Atlantic dyed its levels with a dull misfeatured stain,
And then the sun burst out again, and purples prinked the main.
-Still in all its chasmal beauty bulks old Beeny to the sky,
And shall she and I not go there once again now March is nigh,
And the sweet things said in that March say anew there by and by?
What if still in chasmal beauty looms that wild weird western shore,
The woman now is-elsewhere-whom the ambling pony bore,
And nor knows nor cares for Beeny, and will laugh there nevermore.
Below – Beeny Cliff.
Musings in March: Bayard Taylor
“With rushing winds and gloomy skies The dark and stubborn Winter dies: Far-off, unseen, Spring faintly cries, Bidding her earliest child arise; March!”
Below – David Hockney: “The Arrival of Spring”
Art for March – Donatella Marcatajo: “Colorful Shadows”
This Date in Literary History: Born 1 March 1941 – Robert Hass, an American poet and recipient of the Pulitzer Prize (shared) and the National Book Award.
A Poem by Robert Hass
“After the Gentle Poet Kobayashi Issa”
From now on,
It’s all clear profit,
Art for March – Tamara Gonda: “Into the Light”
“Dear March – Come In”
by Emily Dickinson
Dear March, come in!
How glad I am!
I looked 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 bird’s;
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 – Donatella Marcatajo: “The Secret Garden”
“One swallow does not make a summer, but one skein of geese, cleaving the murk of March thaw, is the Spring.”
Below – Wendy Kroeker: “Canada Geese in Flight 2”
Art for March – Olga Zaremba: “Evening”
“The Afternoon Is Bright”
by Antonio Machado
The afternoon is bright,
with spring in the air,
a mild March afternoon,
with the breath of April stirring,
I am alone in the quiet patio
looking for some old untried illusion –
some shadow on the whiteness of the wall
some memory asleep
on the stone rim of the fountain,
perhaps in the air
the light swish of some trailing gown.
Art for March – Kevin Hebborn: “End of winter woods”
Welcome, Wonderful March
Below – Don Cooper: “Doom and Gloom Meet Joy”