April: A Sonnet

By Henry Allen | April 1, 2019

When I say “April,” the word evokes different memories and emotions than when I say “October.” Over the course of my career, I’ve written about a range of feelings—relief, despair, the hope and horror of love—in poetry, reporting, and prose. As part of a yearlong series for the Scholar, each month I am contributing a new poem to a sonnet cycle, marking the changing seasons in the rhyme and meter of an Elizabethan verse. 


Good Friday, dogwood petals cruciform,
the windblown light, the rain that drifts like dust,
the naked river lit by thunderstorm,
the mud, the pollen. Still, you just can’t trust
it’s spring. Then April squalor comes your way,
the blessed chaos of a puberty
that brings deflowerings to bloom some day.
How sad, how glad, this springtime destiny.
You fall in love and everything is changed,
the very light itself, the taste of air,
the world’s a plot, your very own, deranged
but wildly true, at least while love is there.
To be in England, Paris … poets’ dreams …
while fallen petals flee down noisy streams.

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