The Spring Is Sprung: Verses and Poetry About Springtime

Updated on June 14, 2018
Beth Eaglescliffe profile image

I teach creative writing to adults and I love helping my students improve their writing skills.

Bird resting on a tree full of Spring blossom. The arrival of Spring makes everything sing.
Bird resting on a tree full of Spring blossom. The arrival of Spring makes everything sing. | Source

Who Wrote The Spring is Sprung, The Grass is Riz?

There's a kid’s rhyme starting with the words The Spring is Sprung that I always recite when springtime arrives. I’m sure it (or a variation) is well known to many of you. No-one knows who wrote the lines although some people link it to the poet Ogden Nash. However it predates him and is a far older piece of nonsense doggerel written by the prolific author Anonymous.

The link with Ogden Nash comes because he published a poem entitled “Spring Comes to Murray Hill” in The New Yorker magazine dated 3rd May 1930. His poem is also nonsense doggerel, but that’s where the similarity with The Spring is Sprung ends. Nash's poem begins with the lines;

I sit in an office at 244 Madison Avenue

And say to myself You have a responsible job havenue?

Why then do you fritter away your time on this doggerel?

If you have a sore throat you can cure it by using a good goggeral

Daffodils signal the end of Winter and the start of Spring.
Daffodils signal the end of Winter and the start of Spring. | Source

The Spring is Sprung Rhyme by Anonymous (Not Ogden Nash)

The spring is sprung, the grass is riz.

I wonder where the boidie is.

They say the boidie’s on the wing.

But that’s absoid. The wing is on the bird.


Translation of the rhyme into Standard English

Spring is here and the grass has grown.

I wonder where the bird is hiding?

They say the bird is “on the wing” (flying).

But that’s absurd. (It’s the other way around.) The wing is on the bird.

Spring Fever

Does the arrival spring make you feel different

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Albatross in flight (on the wing).
Albatross in flight (on the wing). | Source

Spring Poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins

When Spring arrives, I always feel more energetic. Fresh winds blow the cobwebs away and I can start on new tasks with enthusiasm. Many poets feel the same way. The Victorian English poet, Gerard Manley Hopkins, describes the wonder and newness of nature in his poem, Spring. However, he warns that innocence ends as the year matures.

This poem is often studied as an example of great English Victorian poetry. Manley Hopkins uses imagery and alliteration to celebrate the arrival of spring. Listen to the video below and enjoy listening to the poetry's rhythm and the music in the words.

From “Spring” by Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1899)

Nothing is so beautiful as Spring -

When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush;

Thrush’s eggs look little low heavens, and thrush

Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring

The ear, it strikes like lightning to hear him sing;

The glassy pear tree leaves and blooms, they brush

The descending blue; that blue is all in a rush

With richness; the racing lambs too have fair their fling.

Spring an Animation of the Hopkins Poem

William Shakespeare Writes about Love

The English bard William Shakespeare has written many sonnets and poems that allude to spring and its effects on young lovers. In this poem he explains the reason for the cuckoo’s cry.

The cukoo is mocking married men who are no longer free and single. They are thus unable to choose freely from the available women. He is also hinting that some men may find themselves cuckolded in the spring.

From “Spring” in Love’s Labors Lost by William Shakespeare (1564-1616)

When daisies pied and violets blue

And lady-smocks all silver-white

And cuckoo-buds of yellow hue

Do paint the meadows with delight,

The cuckoo then, on every tree,

Mocks married men; for thus sings he,

Cuckoo;

Cuckoo, cuckoo: Oh word of fear,

Unpleasing to a married ear!

A host of golden daffodils (here at the Oregon State Capitol Mall) are a heart-stopping sight.
A host of golden daffodils (here at the Oregon State Capitol Mall) are a heart-stopping sight. | Source

William Wordsworth Wanders Lonely as a Cloud

The poem that is the best at conjuring up a picture of an English springtime is one by William Wordsworth. Known as one of the “Lakeland” poets, Wordsworth’s poems are usually set in the English Lake District. The poem describes the beauty of seeing a field full of daffodils with their head nodding in the spring breeze.

From “I wandered lonely as a cloud” by William Wordsworth (1770 - 1850)

I wandered lonely as a cloud

That floats on high o'er vales and hills,

When all at once I saw a crowd,

A host, of golden daffodils;

Beside the lake, beneath the trees,

Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Fox Cubs Enjoy Spring in the Garden

Robert Browning and All’s Right with the World

Spring is the season when all seems right with the world. There is a feeling of hope and renewal in the air. Robert Browning sums it up beautifully in Pippa’s Song.

From Pippa’s Song in “Pippa Passes” by Robert Browning (1812-1889)

The year's at the spring,

And day's at the morn;

Morning's at seven;

The hill-side's dew-pearl'd;

The lark's on the wing;

The snail's on the thorn;

God's in His heaven—

All's right with the world!

New-born Spring lambs sunbathing.
New-born Spring lambs sunbathing. | Source

Robert Frost's A Prayer in Spring

The American poet Robert Frost (1874-1963) is perhaps best known for his poems "The Road Not Taken" and "Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening". He wrote many other poems about rural life, one of which "A Prayer in Spring", captures his love of nature and his belief in God.

Robert Frost's A Prayer in Spring

Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers to-day;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.

Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white,
Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night;
And make us happy in the happy bees,
The swarm dilating round the perfect trees.

And make us happy in the darting bird
That suddenly above the bees is heard,
The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill,
And off a blossom in mid air stands still.

For this is love and nothing else is love,
The which it is reserved for God above
To sanctify to what far ends He will,
But which it only needs that we fulfil.

A Spring Prayer

Dylan Thomas (1914-1953)

I cannot leave the subject of Spring without mentioning my favorite Welsh poet, Dylan Thomas. He was just 39 years old when he died, but his creative output was huge. He wrote plays and fiction as well as poetry. He was one of the literary giants of the 20th century.

Here is the first part of "Here in the Spring" by Dylan Thomas.

Here in this spring, stars float along the void;
Here in this ornamental winter
Down pelts the naked weather;
This summer buries a spring bird.

Symbols are selected from the years'
Slow rounding of four seasons' coasts,
In autumn teach three seasons' fires
And four birds' notes.

Spring Green Fields Painted by Welsh Artist Sir Kyffin Williams

Comments

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  • Nell Rose profile image

    Nell Rose 

    17 months ago from England

    I was just looking for the poem Spring has Sprung and your hub popped up! lol! love this!

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