Spring is the most popular of the four seasons, during which temperatures gradually rise. It is generally defined in the Northern Hemisphere as extending from the vernal equinox (March 20 or 21) to the summer solstice (June 21 or 22), and in the Southern Hemisphere from September 22 or 23 to December 22 or 23. In literature, Spring has traditionally been the symbol of love, joy, spirituality, youth, and melancholy. It is also the beginning of a new life after suffering at the hands of the ‘autumn’.
The season has its own magic that has captivated many poets and writers. As Thomas Nashe has described in his poem ‘Spring, the sweet spring’:
Spring, the sweet spring, is the year’s pleasant king,
Then blooms each thing, then maids dance in a ring,
Cold doth not sting, the pretty birds do sing:
Cuckoo, jug-jug, pu-we, to-witta-woo!
Some of the other notable poets celebrated spring through their works are William Shakespeare, William Wordsworth, P B Shelley, John Milton, and D H Lawrence among many others. In this section “Best Spring Poems” we have explored a number of poems to pick some of the best poems about spring, hope, and beginning, which could inspire the readers.
Explore Best Spring Poems
- 1 ‘Sonnet 98: From you have I been absent in the spring’ by William Shakespeare
- 2 ‘Lines Written in Early Spring’ by William Wordsworth
- 3 ‘O were my Love yon Lilac fair’ by Robert Burns
- 4 ‘Spring’ by William Blake
- 5 ‘Young Lambs‘ by John Clare
- 6 ‘Loveliest of trees, the cherry now’ by A. E. Housman
- 7 ‘Spring’ by Gerard Manley Hopkins
- 8 ‘A Light Exists in Spring’ by Emily Dickinson
- 9 ‘Spring’ by Christina Rossetti
- 10 ‘The Trees’ by Philip Larkin
- 11 ‘Today’ by Billy Collins
- 12 ‘The Thrush’ By Edward Thomas
‘Sonnet 98: From you have I been absent in the spring’ by William Shakespeare
Sonnet 98 of the 154 sonnets written by Shakespeare, depicts the poet’s disappointment over the fact that he could not appreciate all the beauty of spring. It is one of the sonnets addressed to the fair youth, and he feels sorry for he is absent from the young man. As a result, spring seemed like winter to him. It is a wonderful description of spring. According to Tennyson, “it’s a bittersweet poem about the season.
From you have I been absent in the spring,
When proud-pied April, dressed in all his trim,
Yet seem’d it winter still, and, you away,
As with your shadow I with these did play.
‘Lines Written in Early Spring’ by William Wordsworth
William Wordsworth, as a nature poet never failed to notice the beauty of nature around him. Though, not one of his popular poems, ‘Lines Written in Early Spring’ captures the scenic beauty of the season. In the poem, the speaker, muses over nature, its beauty, and its seamless existence. Meanwhile, his thoughts are clouded briefly with the misery of man. Parallel to the new beginning and the warmth of the season took over by his inner sadness, he wonders ‘what man has made of man’ in the poem.
I heard a thousand blended notes,
While in a grove I sate reclined,
Have I not reason to lament
What man has made of man?
‘O were my Love yon Lilac fair’ by Robert Burns
For Robert Burns, the romantic poet, the season has served as a source for expressing his love. He imagines his beloved as lilac and projects himself as a bird sheltering in her petals and singing. In this beautifully illustrated poem of love in spring, the speaker is claiming that both good and bad in life is guaranteed. He paralleled the image of the flowers blooming in all the seasons with the cyclic pattern of man’s life.
O were my love yon Lilac fair,
Wi’ purple blossoms to the Spring,
Seal’d on her silk-saft faulds to rest,
Till fley’d awa by Phoebus’ light!
‘Spring’ by William Blake
‘Spring’ by William Blake celebrates the joy of the season through some of the poet’s favorite aspects of the season. The poem was first published in Blake’s Songs of Innocence in 1789. It reflects on the idea that everything is in communion with everything as in the poem, to denote the harmony prevails between humans with the rest of the world and nature as in the poem. In ‘Spring’, the poet welcomes the season along with the nightingale, little boy, the little girl, cock, and lamb. He alludes to the pure joy of spring as he celebrates the innocence of them.
Sound the flute!
Now it’s mute!
Your soft face;
Merrily, merrily we welcome in the year.
‘Young Lambs‘ by John Clare
John Clare’s poem the Young Lambs is a simple poem written using simple language. The poet has captured the arrival of the season within the vivid image she has used. He lists down the ways in which one could understand the arrival of the spring season. Largely, the poem is just a record of the season, that the poet has seen and felt.
The spring is coming by a many signs;
The trays are up, the hedges broken down,
Close bye and never stirs but baking lies,
With legs stretched out as though he could not rise.
‘Loveliest of trees, the cherry now’ by A. E. Housman
‘Loveliest of trees, the cherry now’ by A. E. Housman, reflects the thought of the young speaker, who at the age of twenty has seen twenty springs come and go. He vows to make the most of it, as he thinks, he may live only to see another fifty. It was published as the second poem in Housman’s bestselling 1896 volume A Shropshire Lad. ‘Loveliest of trees’ has many of Housman’s has a formal metre and rhyme, and a sense of melancholy despite the positivity of the season, which is considered to be the trademark of his poems.
Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
About the woodlands I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow.
‘Spring’ by Gerard Manley Hopkins
G M Hopkins’ ‘Spring’, though not widely known as his other sonnets, The Windhover and The God’s Grandeur, effectively reflects upon the beauty of spring. Calling on specific examples, such as weeds, eggs in birds’ nests, bird songs, lambs, blue skies, and lush greenery, the poem elaborates on the beauty and freshness of the world. The speaker sees the clean and bright world in spring and compares it to the Garden of Eden. Through the religious imagery of the garden of Eden and the pathetic end, he seeks God to protect the innocence of spring and youth.
Nothing is so beautiful as Spring –
When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush;
Innocent mind and Mayday in girl and boy,
Most, O maid’s child, thy choice and worthy the winning.
‘A Light Exists in Spring’ by Emily Dickinson
Emily Dickinson, well known for the whimsical nature of her poem and the recurring theme of death has beautifully captured the way spring slowly appears in our consciousness, like a light in the distance. Though it was written in about 1864, it was published only in 1896 along with her many other poems. The poem acknowledges how spring enters and affects our happiness as the season passes.
A Light exists in Spring
Not present on the Year
As Trade had suddenly encroached
Upon a Sacrament.
‘Spring’ by Christina Rossetti
Christina Rossetti’s ‘Spring’ is less known yet carries a fine description of the springtime. The poem celebrates the new life begins all over again, which was buried beneath the earth all through the winter. Like in many of Rossetti’s poetry, ‘Spring’ too makes the reader feel an ephemeral sense of melancholy co-exist along with the beauty of spring, as Rossetti insists on the temporary aspect of the season.
Frost-locked all the winter,
Seeds, and roots, and stones of fruits,
Now newly born, and now
Hastening to die.
‘The Trees’ by Philip Larkin
‘The Trees’ is one of several poems written by Philip Larkin about spring. The poem carries the elements of happiness and sorrow, dejection, and hope as the poet describes the cyclic nature of the season. It indicates that spring is not only the season of rebirth but also a reminder of death. The speaker observes the changes going around him and comparing it to human life.
The trees are coming into leaf
Like something almost being said;
Last year is dead, they seem to say,
Begin afresh, afresh, afresh.
‘Today’ by Billy Collins
Billy Collins ‘Today’ presents us with a wonderful spring day. The poet is in the full spirit that he plans to let free the ones in the paperweight. His mood is elated by the spring day that he has encourages the readers too to enjoy the day with him. The poem, on the whole, is a depiction of how spring makes one feel. As in the words of Collins, a perfect spring day can make someone “throw open all the windows in the house.”
If ever there were a spring day so perfect,
so uplifted by a warm intermittent breeze
into this larger dome of blue and white,
well, today is just that kind of day.
‘The Thrush’ By Edward Thomas
‘The Thrush’ by Edward Thomas is written in the form of a conversation to describe the cyclic nature of the season. He implies the difference between the bird and him through his ability to distinguish between months and seasonal changes. The poet delineates the idea that the Thrush may know the differences between the seasons. But, the poet is fully aware of the fact that winter gives way to spring and spring will eventually turn into winter.
When Winter’s ahead,
What can you read in November
And love and forget in
All that’s ahead and behind.
If you enjoyed the above poems about spring, explore some more great poetry, looking at the autumn/fall, and nature in general.