You Must Believe in Spring

This poem by Jan Zwicky appears in her 1998 book Songs for Relinquishing the Earth–and I am running out of opportunities to post it this year, so here it is, with photos and everything.

You Must Believe in Spring

Because it is the garden. What is left to us.
Because silence is not silence without sound.
Because you have let the cat out, and then in, and then out,
and then in, and then out, and then in, and then
out, and then in, and then out, and then in,
Because otherwise their precision at the blue line would
mean nothing.
Because otherwise death would mean nothing.
Because the light says so.
Because a human being can gladly eat only so much cabbage.
Because the pockets of your overcoat need mending.
Because it’s easy not to.
Because your sweaters smell.
Because Gregory of Nanzianzen said geometry has no place in
mourning, by which he meant despair presumes too
Because it ain’t over ’til it’s over. — Hank Aaron, Jackie
Robinson, Satchel Paige.
Because Kant was wrong, and Socrates, Descartes and all the
rest. Because it is the body thinking and Newt
Gingrich would like you not to.
Because the signs are not wrong: you are here.
Because I love you. Or you love someone. Because someone
is loved.
Because under the sun, everything is new.
Because the wet snow in the trees is clotted light.
Because in 1841 it took six cords of wood to get through
a winter in one room at Harvard and two-thirds
of Maine used to be open country as a result.
Because sleeping is not death.
Because although an asshole was practising his Elvis Presley
imitation, full voice, Sunday morning, April 23rd
at Spectacle Lake Provincial Park, the winter wren
simply moved 200 yards down the trail.
Because the wren’s voice is moss in sunlight, because it is
a stream in sunlight over stones.
Because Beethoven titled the sonata.
I mean: would Bill Evans and Frank Morgan lie to you?
Because even sorrow has a source.
For, though it cannot fly, the heart is an excellent clamberer.

2 thoughts on “You Must Believe in Spring

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