Nature poetry: share your first day of spring
Spring signals the start of warmer days and longer evenings, renewed life and returning colour.
To celebrate, we asked nature lovers across the UK to send us their observations of the arrival of the new season. These comments have been woven into a new poem by writer Elizabeth-Jane Burnett.
For generations, poets and writers have put pen to paper to express the importance of the arrival of spring and the burst of colour and busyness in the animal kingdom.
The nature poetry project, delivered in partnership with the Arts and Humanities Research Council, captured the start of the season by getting people to share their observations of wildlife, the weather and what spring means to them. We received comments from 400 people via social media over the weekend of 20-21 March 2021.
Descriptions of birdsong and blossom and sightings of wildlife and spring flowers were among the reflections that were woven into the poem Spring, An Inventory by Elizabeth-Jane Burnett. Presented as a tally of spring sightings, the poem reflects the frequency of words that appeared in the submissions.
Celia Richardson, Director of Communications at the National Trust, said: 'The feelings of relief and hope are palpable in the contributions as is the sense of connection to nature. Many people have spent more time listening to birdsong and noticing wildlife this past year, and that appreciation of the small things in life, of everyday nature, really shines through.'
'Spring, An Inventory' by Elizabeth-Jane Burnett
Numbers refer to the frequency of words appearing in submissions from the 400 people who shared their impressions of spring with us.
Fifty-four hopes in the hardwood held,
slow, the hour brightens
through damp roots and fused shoots the pressure wells,
fifty-one blossoms on the cherry swell,
tiny beech leaves ripen.
Fifty-four hopes in the hardwood held
slow, the hour brightens.
Forty-four trees in the waking woods,
forty-one spilling gardens.
Five cherry trees where the blackbirds stood,
thirty-five joys through their gleaming broods,
thirty-eight buds nectar-guarding
in forty-four trees in the waking woods,
in forty-one spilling gardens.
We'd like to thank all of you who sent in your comments and reflections on the start of spring. Here are some of the comments we received.
" Spring arrives like an exhaled breath"