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Lay for the Day
23rd April

St George’s Day, and the anniversary of the death of two of England’s great poets, William Wordsworth, in 1850, and William Shakespeare, in 1616. It is also, by tradition, the date of Shakespeare’s birth – based on a plausible calculation from the date of his baptism, coupled with a desire for the Master of the Globe to have had a circular life, beginning and ending on the same day and lasting 52 years, the number of weeks in the circuit of a year.
From the book of Praises:


18. Of St George’s Weather


Hail scolding, gusts buffeting the window;
Through the white and dark clouds, baby simple
Sky looks down; then a flurry of damp snow
Dissolving quicker than torn-off blossom.

Our brooding turbulence distilled this charge-
Laden atmosphere, not vice versa:
Suddenly from the north, April inverts
The fallacy that we call pathetic.

A blue-white flash behind your head: heaven’s
Photographed a moment of exultance.
Barging aside normality, the boss
Thunder speaks in a second: Hold it there.


John Gibbens
from Collected Poems
 

The Lay Reader: an archive of the poetic calendar