Thursday, 30 April 2009


“Even the gods love jokes.” - Plato

April |ˈāprəl| noun
The fourth month of the year, in the northern hemisphere usually considered the second month of spring: The flower festival was to be held in mid-April | [as adj.] April showers.
ORIGIN Old English, from Latin Aprilis.

The derivation of the name Aprilis is uncertain. The classical etymology is from the Latin aperire, “to open”, in allusion to its being the season when trees and flowers begin to “open up”, which is supported by comparison with the Modern Greek use of άνοιξις (anoixis = opening) for Spring. Since most of the Roman months were named in honour of gods and goddesses, and as April was sacred to Venus (the Festum Veneris et Fortunae Virilis being held on the first day of April), it has been suggested that Aprilis was originally her month Aphrilis, from her Greek name Aphrodite (Aphros = sea foam as she rose from the sea), or from her Etruscan name Apru.

I’ve left this rather late for April, but I still managed to get this in for Word Thursday, being the last day of the month. We are well advanced into Autumn now in the Southern Hemisphere, of course, and as the days shorten here and an early winter chill is making its teeth felt, we can only dream of the Northern Spring.

April is a favourite months of mine – Autumn or Spring, warm or cool, dreary or bright. Why? Some of sort of strange affinity? Some unexplained seasonal affectivity? Some deep-seated memory? Who knows?


Dying April,
Newborn May.
Northern spring showers
Unseasonal southern heat.
My flesh burns
As the cool moonlight
Touches it, lightly, from a distance
As softly as the memory
Of your single embrace,
When our frigidities did for a
Single moment briefly unite us.

The sun in Taurus.
Approaching Gemini,
Yet Scorpio stirs in my flesh
Awakening dark desires,
Readying his deadly sting.
I yearn for your kiss
My lips already parted;
Irises wide open, coals burning.
Mercury runs, his silver shadow fleeting.
Venus smiles knowingly
And Eros loosens his bow –
If only this time, his arrow would not miss its mark!

An old poem, of April and of the Northern/Southern contrasts… Enjoy the month of May tomorrow! The image is from a fresco in the Palazzo Schifanoia, Ferrara, Italy. It is the “Allegory of April: Triumph of Venus” (1476-84) by Francesco del Cossa.

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