The well-known poem*, often attributed to New York prolific writer of comic verse Ogden Nash but made famous, in the UK at least, by Spike Milligan when he wasn’t walking backwards to Christmas, reflects the lightness of mood when the sun finally comes out, temperatures move into double figures, plants push out of the sodden ground and burst into bud.
Spring arrived in Old South Wales and much of the rest of Britain on Friday. Months of grey, wet weather instantly became history, relegated to the back of the mind. The sun shone from near cloudless sky with noticeable warmth, lighting up the colour which had been appearing gradually and unnoticed in the gloom.
And, after a momentary return to grey and wet on Saturday, the mountain behind the house lost in low cloud, spring reasserted itself by the end of the morning. I laid yet another path in the garden.
As well as spring flowers people came out of hibernation, blinking in the sunlight, faces shiny with TV-screen-pallor, clad in summer-weight clothes. The towpath of the Abergavenny and Brecon Canal was thronged with people strolling, cycling, walking the dog, pushing buggies, trying to stop little Jimmy from falling in the water.
Sunday was even better, not a cloud in the sky all day. I headed for the ridge and had it to myself, everyone else having cleared supermarket shelves of lager, was glued to the annual crunch match between England and Wales in the Six Nations Championship. This is the only one that really matters in Wales. Unfortunately, the only sadness of the day, we lost. It will make winning next year all the sweeter.
Spring looks set to continue for a few days yet.
*The full poem:
Spring is sprung, the grass is riz
I wonder where the birdies is.
The bird is on the wing.
But that’s absurd, the wing is on the bird.
Or so I’ve heard.
Burned into my memory having been picked by my high school English teacher to recite before the class circa 1971. I thought by ee cummings:
Spring in New York
da spring is sprung
da grass is riz
I wonder where dem boidies is?
da little boids is on der wing
ain’t dat absoid?
da little wings is on da boid!