They said April was the cruelest month…

Who said that, and why?

I. The Burial of the Dead

“APRIL is the cruelest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain…”

T.S. Eliot spoke of war… but others have carried it in other directions. Stephen Meyers writes:

“April is the cruelest month. T.S. Eliot may have written it, but we fishermen live it. April is the pitiless prank that offers a taste of spring – daffodil and crocus popping through recently thawed soil near a sun-warmed stone – then slaps you in the face with bitter cold rain driven by a thirty-knot “breeze.” How is it I feel so much more comfortable in December, knee deep in frigid water, the thermometer hovering near freezing, than I do in April with the same instrument now reading a much warmer forty-five? Part of it’s my own fault. In January, I dress for winter. In April, I dress for summer. I never learn.”

And, Joanna Connors claims:

“April is the most poetic month, not the cruelest…”

What have others written about April?

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote (in “April”)

“The April winds are magical, And thrill our tuneful frames; The garden-walks are passional To bachelors and dames.”

Robert Frost wrote (in “Two Tramps in Mud Time”)

“The sun was warm but the wind was chill. / You know how it is with an April day. / When the sun is out and the wind is still, / You’re one month on in the middle of May.”

William Shakespeare famously wrote:

“April hath put a spirit of youth in everything.”

With all the April-1st foolery, Edna St. Vincent Millay’s quote seems appropriate:

“April comes like an idiot, babbling and stewing flowers.”

Do the days of April come upon us with laughter or tears? The great Helen Hunt Jackson wrote (in “Verses–April”):

“For April sobs while these are so glad / April weeps while these are so gay,– / Weeps like a tired child who had, / Playing with flowers, lost its way.”

Should we be content? In “April,” Susan Coolidge (Sarah Chauncey Woolsey), wrote:

“Every tear is answered by a blossom, / Every sigh with songs and laughter blent, / April-blooms upon the breezes toss them. / April knows her own, and is content.”


[acc_item title=”April Birthdays – Writers”]

  • April 2 – Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875)
  • April 7 – Gabriela Mistral (1889-1957)
  • April 7 – William Wordsworth (1770-1850)
  • April 13 – Samuel Beckett (1906-1989)
  • April 13 – Eudora Welty (1909-2001)
  • April 13 – Seamus Heaney (1939-)
  • April 15 – Henry James (1843-1916)
  • April 16 – Kingsley Amis (1922-1995)
  • April 16 – Anatole France (1844-1924)
  • April 17 – Thornton Wilder (1897-1975)
  • April 21 – Charlotte Bronte (1816-1855)
  • April 23 – Halldor Laxness (1902-1998)
  • April 23 – William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
  • April 24 – Carl Spitteler (1845-1924)
  • April 26 – Vicente Aleixandre (1898-1984)
  • April 26 – Bernard Malamud (1914-1986)
  • April 28 – Harper Lee (1926-)


[acc_item title=”April Facts”]

  • # of Days: 30 days. Only 3 other months have 30 days: June, September and November.
  • Shared Days: April begins on the same day of the week as July every single year.
  • Zodiac: Aries, March 21 to April 19
 and Taurus, April 20 to May 20




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