Saturday, April 6, 2024

April Blues

April Blues

By Courtney Rene

Spring rain in the forest, fresh branches of a bud and young leaves with raindrops, by Kichigin19

    April Showers, brings May flowers. Here in the grand state of Ohio (USA), we live by this saying.  Winters can be hard here.  With below zero temperatures, snow and ice, and don't even get me started on the wind, we wait and dream of spring.  Spring arrives in March, yes, however, for us Ohioans, that does not mean an end to the cold and wintery weather.  By the time April finally arrives, we are a sad and pale reproduction of our summer selfs.  

    The problem being that although the snow and ice may be gone, we do generally get a lot of rain in April. So much so that we go from frozen cold misery to mud city (esp. those of us with pets).  I wondered if maybe the old saying of April showers brings May flowers was a way of saying, hang in there.  There is a purpose to all this wet misery.  You need the rain and storms for the plants to grow and bring forth the beauty of the coming summer seasons. 

    With that in mind as I slog my way through all the wet, the question is: where did the saying come from?  Well, it is not a saying per se.  It is a poem.  Didn't know that.  It has its origin from the year 1157 from a poet named Thomas Tusser.  His very short and sweet poem read:  "Sweet April Showers, Do Spring May Flowers".   I know poems come in many forms and fauna, but is this really a poem or just a quip really.  The idea of what constitutes a poem, may be a discussion for another day.  Moving on.

    Geoffrey Chaucer, however, did write a poem in the fourteenth century.  The original in all its spelling glory is:

"Whan that Aprill, with his shoures soote

The Droghte of March hath perced to the roote

And bathed every veyne in swich licour,

Of which vertu engendred is the flour,"


"When in April the sweet showers fall

That pierced March's drought to the root and all

And bathed every vein in liquor tht has power

To generate therein and sire the flower,"  

    I do like the melody that comes with this poem, and the story behind all the flowery (no pun intended) words.  Chaucer, he's got quite the story telling skill in my mind.  I may need to do more digging on the man behind the poem.  I know of him, but do I know who he is?  Stay tuned that may be in the works next, as now I am intrigued.  

    Happy April.  Hang in there. The beauty of spring and summer are on the way.  


  1. Rain is better than snow, but you do run out of steam eventually. Come on May flowers! Glad you included a translation for that olde poem...that is lovely. And these origin stories are great.

    1. I am really enjoying the dig into the history of these posts. It's fun. Yes, please bring on the sunshine...