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‘An April Day’ is a poem written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. As the title suggests, it is a poem about a day in the warm season of April and how the poet’s persona takes in this beauty of nature. The following is only an excerpt of the poem.
About the Poet:
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882) was a prominent American poet. A note-worthy fact is that he had been the first to translate the ‘Divine Comedy’ by Dante Alighieri. Famous works of him include ‘Voices of the Night’, ‘Evangeline’ and ‘Psalm of Life’.
The theme of this poem, being Romantic in nature, revolves around the beauty of nature. The persona describes a day in April intrinsically, highlighting the beauty offered by nature.
This poem is a short, lyric poem. Divided into quatrains, it has a simple rhyme scheme of abab cdcd and so on and so forth.
Explanation of the poem:
When the warm sun, that brings Seed-time and harvest, has returned again, 'T is sweet to visit the still wood, where springs The first flower of the plain.
The first stanza begins with the persona describing what the month of April brings forth- Spring. He describes how warm the sun was and how this season was the time of growth of plants and flowers. He procceds to describe how beautiful the forest and the plains at this time of the year and witness the first flower of the season bloom.
I love the season well When forest glades are teeming with bright forms, Nor dark and many-folded clouds foretell The coming-in of storms.
In this stanza, the persona states how he loves this season. He goes on to state how he loves the forest bright with life, unmarred by dark, stormy clouds. Spring can thus be construed to be his favourite time of the year, April in particular.
From the earth's loosened mould The sapling draws its sustenance, and thrives; Though stricken to the heart with winter's cold, The drooping tree revives.
This particular stanza focuses on the growth of life found during Spring. Saplings grow during this time of the year, thriving on the warm sun and loosened soil in contrast to the freezing winter. He states how trees that had begun to droop with the cold of the winter also revived in April.
The softly-warbled song Comes through the pleasant woods, and coloured wings Glance quick in the bright sun, that moves along The forest openings.
Here, the persona describes birds, how they sing and how the variety of birds have colourful wings each. It is in Spring that these birds are cheerful as they soak in the bright Sun and roam the woods.
When the bright sunset fills The silver woods with light, the green slope throws Its shadows in the hollows of the hills, And wide the upland glows.
The fifth stanza is a description of the beauty of the sunset in Spring. It looks ethereal as it bathes the woods with light, making the forest, the slope and the hill all glow and look enchanting.
This is a joyous poem that leaves the reader with full heart. It describes the beauty of Spring, the jubilation it brings and spreads to everything it touches, filling humans and nature with delight.