Pilgrimpace's Blog


middle march: winter’s grave 2

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The title of this and the last post are taken from Edward Thomas’ In Pursuit of Spring, his account of a cycle ride from London to the Quantocks in March 1913 (almost a century ago; Spring has been dreadful late this year).  This is well worth reading, an essential part of English nature writing.

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Although slightly late on this part of the Middle March, but not so late as to overlap with Thomas who was much further and warmer to the south and west:

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By the side of the road were the first bluebells and cowslips.  They were not growing there, but some child had gathered them below at Stowey or Durleigh, and then, getting tired of them, had dropped them.  They were beginning to wilt, but they lay upon.  I was quite sure of that.  Winter may rise up through mould alive with violets and primroses and daffodils, but when cowslips and bluebells have grown over his grave he cannot rise again: he is dead and rotten, and from his ashes the blossoms are springing.  Therefore, I was very glad to see them … I had found Winter’s grave; I had found Spring, and I was confident that I could ride home again and find Spring all along the road.

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When describing the feel of late winter in an earlier book, The South Country (1909), he muses: ‘It is not yet spring. Spring is being dreamed’.

Comment by Genevieve G. Winters




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