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I have been thinking about this poem since Shane died in October. I wish I knew the translations for the various languages. Maybe I'll have to play with Google Translate. April will be Easter, then my birthday also marking 6 months from our wedding anniversary. Shane was hospitalized a few days before our anniversary and died 12 days after. I have been thinking about Easter and resurrection, and how usually the idea brings such hope, but this year I am in a place where I feel I cannot yet realize the hope yet, so I am in despair. As a friend told me today, "The idea of heaven gets sweeter every year."

From T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land.


APRIL is the cruellest month, breeding

Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing  
Memory and desire, stirring  
Dull roots with spring rain.  
Winter kept us warm, covering          5
Earth in forgetful snow, feeding  
A little life with dried tubers.  
Summer surprised us, coming over the Starnbergersee  
With a shower of rain; we stopped in the colonnade,  
And went on in sunlight, into the Hofgarten,   10
And drank coffee, and talked for an hour.  
Bin gar keine Russin, stamm’ aus Litauen, echt deutsch.  
And when we were children, staying at the archduke’s,  
My cousin’s, he took me out on a sled,  
And I was frightened. He said, Marie,   15
Marie, hold on tight. And down we went.  
In the mountains, there you feel free.  
I read, much of the night, and go south in the winter.  
What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow  
Out of this stony rubbish? Son of man,   20
You cannot say, or guess, for you know only  
A heap of broken images, where the sun beats,  
And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief,  
And the dry stone no sound of water. Only  
There is shadow under this red rock,   25
(Come in under the shadow of this red rock),  
And I will show you something different from either  
Your shadow at morning striding behind you  
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;  
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.   30
        Frisch weht der Wind  
        Der Heimat zu,  
        Mein Irisch Kind,  
        Wo weilest du?  
“You gave me hyacinths first a year ago;   35
They called me the hyacinth girl.”  
—Yet when we came back, late, from the Hyacinth garden,  
Your arms full, and your hair wet, I could not  
Speak, and my eyes failed, I was neither  
Living nor dead, and I knew nothing,   40
Looking into the heart of light, the silence.  
Öd’ und leer das Meer.  
Madame Sosostris, famous clairvoyante,  
Had a bad cold, nevertheless  
Is known to be the wisest woman in Europe,   45
With a wicked pack of cards. Here, said she,  
Is your card, the drowned Phoenician Sailor,  
(Those are pearls that were his eyes. Look!)  
Here is Belladonna, the Lady of the Rocks,  
The lady of situations.   50
Here is the man with three staves, and here the Wheel,  
And here is the one-eyed merchant, and this card,  
Which is blank, is something he carries on his back,  
Which I am forbidden to see. I do not find  
The Hanged Man. Fear death by water.   55
I see crowds of people, walking round in a ring.  
Thank you. If you see dear Mrs. Equitone,  
Tell her I bring the horoscope myself:  
One must be so careful these days.  
Unreal City,   60
Under the brown fog of a winter dawn,  
A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many,  
I had not thought death had undone so many.  
Sighs, short and infrequent, were exhaled,  
And each man fixed his eyes before his feet.   65
Flowed up the hill and down King William Street,  
To where Saint Mary Woolnoth kept the hours  
With a dead sound on the final stroke of nine.  
There I saw one I knew, and stopped him, crying “Stetson!  
You who were with me in the ships at Mylae!   70
That corpse you planted last year in your garden,  
Has it begun to sprout? Will it bloom this year?  
Or has the sudden frost disturbed its bed?  
Oh keep the Dog far hence, that’s friend to men,  
Or with his nails he’ll dig it up again!   75
You! hypocrite lecteur!—mon semblable,—mon frère!”

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Comment by kln82 on April 10, 2017 at 5:21pm

April is hard for me too. My husband died 3 years April 17. I love Spring and Easter but yet I feel restless, moody and agitated. I dread the days leading up to that sad anniversary yet I love Easter. It is hard knowing how to handle those days. I usually sing in my church choir but am not sure I can do that this weekend. I will see how I feel. Everyone grieves differently and that is okay. Take each day at a time and be kind to yourself . 

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