April is the Coolest Month: my ode to spring at Ohio State


My apologies to T.S. Eliot, but then Eliot never had a window that looked out upon the Oval, nor did he ever visit campus in April. Or any other time that we know of.

Ohio State’s campus is beautiful in any season, thanks to the amazing work of our groundskeepers. But to me, April really is the coolest month. Heat and humidity seem far away, as does the chance of a Polar vortex.

Yes, there are those April showers (sometimes mixed with just a little snow), but we all know what those bring.

But, no matter. The great annual renewal has begun. Suddenly, life is all around us: birds nesting; trees budding; students laughing.

Our pulse quickens. We walk more—not just to get somewhere—but like our ancient ancestors, to revel in the return of the sun.

Promise is in the air. Commencement draws closer. The awards season is in full sway; as always, we have many to announce.

Ohio State forever holds delightful surprises.

I’d like to think that even Eliot could find no cruelty here.

Celebrate. It’s April once again.

2 thoughts on “April is the Coolest Month: my ode to spring at Ohio State

  1. Of course, the reference is to the famous opening sentence of one of the greatest poems of the twentieth century, which many of a certain age know by heart:

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

    However, it is worth noting that these are the beginning lines of “The Wasteland”, in the first section entitled “Burial of the Dead”. A fantastic and extremely complicated piece of literature, to be sure, but probably not the embodiment of the message you were trying to convey, as I understand it.

    As a slightly safer alternative, might I suggest either

    *) “Lines written in Early Spring” by William Wordsworth (a very pleasant but rather conventional piece of post-Renaissance poetry),

    or, if you are feeling a bit more free-spirited, and inclined to be daring

    *) “Leaves of Grass” by Walt Whitman (as revolutionary for nineteenth century poetry as “The Wasteland” was for the twentieth).



    • I agree that context matters. It’s also interesting how often literary contexts shift as they become a part of popular culture. Thanks for the further citations. Now I’m wondering if any other month is as singled out in the history of British and American poetry?”

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