The poem Craving for Spring by D. H. Lawrence (1885–1930) anticipates the joy of a new season. Let’s read a stanza:
Let it be spring!
Come, bubbling, surging tide of sap!
Come, rush of creation!
Come, life! surge through this mass of mortification!
Come, sweep away these exquisite, ghastly first-flowers,
which are rather last-flowers!
Come, thaw down their cool portentousness, dissolve them:
snowdrops, straight, death-veined exhalations of white and purple crocuses,
flowers of the penumbra, issue of corruption, nourished in mortification,
jets of exquisite finality;
Come, spring, make havoc of them!
In the first line – “Let it be spring,” the author indicates that it is still winter where he lives. The remnants of cold weather are evident in the adjectives and nouns he uses, such as “snowdrops” and “cool.”
Some of the other descriptions are harder to understand. For example, “nourished in mortification” and “jets of exquisite finality.” However, we can use the overarching themes of the poem to break down these terms. We know from earlier expressions that the author, at least at that moment, prefers spring to winter (i.e. “Let it be spring!”) and can deduce that these other expressions (“mortification,” “death-veined”) convey the way flowers ‘die’ in the winter but ‘resuscitate’ in the spring.
The remainder of the poem continues with themes of death and rebirth.
- Do you agree or disagree with the author's depiction of spring?
- What types of themes characterize your favorite season?