Spring Poems: 12 Verses for the Season

In Atlanta, the birthplace of Bas Bleu, pear trees and redbuds are blooming, tulips and irises are unfurling their brilliant petals, and birds are singing on dogwood branches. But we know not all of our readers have witnessed these signs of spring this year; let’s see if we can call them forth for you! April is National Poetry Month, so our editors have selected a dozen of our favorite spring poems with which to surrender yourselves to the season…and maybe, just maybe, coax it into your backyard. (To read each poem in full, click on the title or image.)

The Wind is sewing with needles of rain.
With shining needles of rain
It stitches into the thin
Cloth of earth. In,
In, in, in.
Oh, the wind has often sewed with me.
One, two, three.

Spring must have fine things
To wear like other springs.
Of silken green the grass must be
Embroidered. One and two and three.
Then every crocus must be made
So subtly as to seem afraid
Of lifting colour from the ground;
And after crocuses the round
Heads of tulips, and all the fair
Intricate garb that Spring will wear.
The wind must sew with needles of rain,
With shining needles of rain,
Stitching into the thin
Cloth of earth, in,
In, in, in,
For all the springs of futurity.
One, two, three.Two Sewing,” by Hazel Hall

More than the fuchsia funnels breaking out
of the crabapple tree, more than the neighbor’s
almost obscene display of cherry limbs shoving
their cotton candy-colored blossoms to the slate
sky of Spring rains, it’s the greening of the trees
that really gets to me. When all the shock of white
and taffy, the world’s baubles and trinkets, leave
the pavement strewn with the confetti of aftermath,
the leaves come. Patient, plodding, a green skin
growing over whatever winter did to us, a return
to the strange idea of continuous living despite
the mess of us, the hurt, the empty. Fine then,
I’ll take it, the tree seems to say, a new slick leaf
unfurling like a fist to an open palm, I’ll take it all.
“Instructions on Not Giving Up,” by Ada Limón

Gardens are also good places
to sulk. You pass beds of
spiky voodoo lilies
and trip over the roots
of a sweet gum tree,
in search of medieval
plants whose leaves,
when they drop off
turn into birds
if they fall on land,
and colored carp if they
plop into water.

Suddenly the archetypal
human desire for peace
with every other species
wells up in you. The lion
and the lamb cuddling up.
The snake and the snail, kissing.
Even the prick of the thistle,
queen of the weeds, revives
your secret belief
in perpetual spring,
your faith that for every hurt
there is a leaf to cure it. “In Perpetual Spring,” by Amy Gerstler

This spring as it comes bursts up in bonfires green,
Wild puffing of emerald trees, and flame-filled bushes,
Thorn-blossom lifting in wreaths of smoke between
Where the wood fumes up and the watery, flickering rushes. 

I am amazed at this spring, this conflagration
Of green fires lit on the soil of the earth, this blaze
Of growing, and sparks that puff in wild gyration,
Faces of people streaming across my gaze. 

And I, what fountain of fire am I among
This leaping combustion of spring? My spirit is tossed
About like a shadow buffeted in the throng
Of flames, a shadow that’s gone astray, and is lost.
“The Enkindled Spring,” by D. H. Lawrence

I wonder if the sap is stirring yet,
If wintry birds are dreaming of a mate,
If frozen snowdrops feel as yet the sun
And crocus fires are kindling one by one:
Sing, robin, sing;
I still am sore in doubt concerning Spring.

I wonder if the springtide of this year
Will bring another Spring both lost and dear;
If heart and spirit will find out their Spring,
Or if the world alone will bud and sing:
Sing, hope, to me;
Sweet notes, my hope, soft notes for memory.

The sap will surely quicken soon or late,
The tardiest bird will twitter to a mate;
So Spring must dawn again with warmth and bloom,
Or in this world, or in the world to come:
Sing, voice of Spring,
Till I too blossom and rejoice and sing.
“The First Spring Day,” by Christina Rossetti

If ever there were a spring day so perfect,
so uplifted by a warm intermittent breeze

that it made you want to throw
open all the windows in the house

and unlatch the door to the canary’s cage,
indeed, rip the little door from its jamb,

a day when the cool brick paths
and the garden bursting with peonies

seemed so etched in sunlight
that you felt like taking

a hammer to the glass paperweight
on the living room end table,

releasing the inhabitants
from their snow-covered cottage

so they could walk out,
holding hands and squinting

into this larger dome of blue and white,
well, today is just that kind of day. “Today,” by Billy Collins


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22 thoughts on “Spring Poems: 12 Verses for the Season

  1. Thank you. There was a frost here this morning, and threats of snow showers later (I live in New Hampshire), so reading these has brought warmth, or hope of it, closer.

  2. Even though so many of us can’t enjoy the variety of wonderful natural beautiful plants and birds reappearing, poetry captures this for us!

  3. This was lovely – thank you for the positive morning read. Here is another, Thomas Nashe’s “Spring, the Sweet Spring”

    Spring, the sweet spring, is the year’s pleasant king,
    Then blooms each thing, then maids dance in a ring,
    Cold doth not sting, the pretty birds do sing:
    Cuckoo, jug-jug, pu-we, to-witta-woo!

    The palm and may make country houses gay,
    Lambs frisk and play, the shepherds pipe all day,
    And we hear aye birds tune this merry lay:
    Cuckoo, jug-jug, pu-we, to-witta-woo!

    The fields breathe sweet, the daisies kiss our feet,
    Young lovers meet, old wives a-sunning sit,
    In every street these tunes our ears do greet:
    Cuckoo, jug-jug, pu-we, to witta-woo!
    Spring, the sweet spring!

    (Oh, the thought of daisies kissing my feet!)

  4. Thank you for these beautiful, uplifting poems. They are much needed and appreciated during this COVID-19 crisis.

  5. Lovely poems. Full of hope and beauty, and allowing us to reach beyond these days of confinement. Thank you.

  6. Thank you for reminding me that spring is indeed coming to my world! Thank you for reminding me how poetry can soothe a troubled time!


    The Sky Has No Limit The Wings It Can Hold,
    And All Feathered Creatures, True Numbers, Who Knows ?

    With Sun Warming Waxwings, Each Ray Beaming Down,
    A Kind Smile On Eden’s Sweet Garden Of Ground!

    May All The Earth Dance To This Song Heaven Brings,
    Our God’s In His Throne Seat , And Nature Must Sing !

  8. What a delight to find a Hazel Hall poem here, among all the other fine poems. I read her work back in the late 1970’s, in college at the University of Washington. She was a curious person, making her living as a seamstress.

    Thank you!

  9. I have been a poet most of my life. My husband passed away almost 2 years ago
    “If you save one life, you save the world” The Talmud
    “I have bonded with you
    Such mercy
    My head bowed
    Ending the autumn with you
    Now, like a dreamscape;
    Are spiritually alive;
    You have not left me;
    I light a candle
    For your sweetness
    and wisdom
    That swims
    Between health and death;
    You have evolved
    In these autumn nights,
    Month by month
    Week by week
    Day by day
    Since your loss of breath,
    I continue to light the flame
    Each day.”
    By Jerilyn Elise Miripol
    For my husband,
    Professor Richard P. Van Duyne at his funeral

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