Spring Fever or a Poet's Joke on Us
Knox County — In the Spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love.” …Alfred, Lord Tennyson
There is some scientific evidence that, yes, Spring Fever really exists. If you consider SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder that could very well be true. It may also be true that our poets are leading us down the garden path so to speak by spreading all these love poems based on the glories of Spring and the feelings the season invokes in all of us at some level or other.
According to Askmen.com-Spring Fever 101 hormones may be the driving force behind Spring Fever. As the days grow longer and brighter, we rejoice, we go out into the sunshine and stretch our legs and exercise more. All of which, according to some scientists, increases our hormone levels, vis a vis sexual drive until we could say that yes we have “Spring Fever.”
As for all that spring love poetry, I’ll leave that to the real poets and to our resident poet, Kendall Merriam. This month he gives us two spring poems, “Daffodils in March” and “Spring Moon-A Fragment.” Check them out at his blog space.
Song of Songs
The greatest love poem ever written appears in both Hebrew and Christian literature in Song of Songs. The following information about Song of Songs is excerpted from Wikipedia:
The Song of Songs, also Song of Solomon or Canticles (Hebrew: שִׁיר הַשִּׁירִים, Šîr HašŠîrîm, Greek: ᾎσμα ᾈσμάτων, asma asmaton, both meaning "song of songs"), is one of the megillot (scrolls) found in the last section of the Tanakh, known as the Ketuvim (or "Writings"), and a book of the Old Testament.
Unlike other books in the Hebrew or Christian Bibles, “Song of Songs” does not teach a lesson or impart any ecclesiastical wisdom. It simply celebrates sexual love. It gives "the voices of two lovers, praising each other, yearning for each other, proffering invitations to enjoy.” The two are in harmony, each desiring the other and rejoicing in sexual intimacy; the women (or "daughters") of Jerusalem form a chorus to the lovers, functioning as an audience whose participation in the lovers' erotic encounters facilitates the participation of the reader.
In modern Judaism the Song is read on the Sabbath during the Passover, which marks the beginning of the grain harvest as well as commemorating the Exodus from Egypt. Jewish tradition reads it as an allegory of the relationship between God and Israel. Christian tradition, in addition to appreciating the literal meaning of a romantic song between husband and wife, has also largely adopted an allegorical reading of the piece, taking it as relating Christ (the bridegroom) and his Church (the bride).
Here is a verse section from the poem:
2 Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth—
for your love is more delightful than wine.
3 Pleasing is the fragrance of your perfumes;
your name is like perfume poured out.
No wonder the young women love you!
4 Take me away with you—let us hurry!
Let the king bring me into his chambers.
(To read the complete poem, go to “Hedi Bak…A Friend in Time” in the January 2012 archives.)
Every Spring we in the United States experience the phenomena known as “Spring Break” when college students swarm to the beaches of Florida and other resort areas to unleash all their joy at not being cooped up in lecture halls or encamped in their dorm rooms with a box of Ritz Crackers, a jar of peanut butter, and a Coke as they study for finals. That cooped up feeling is released with wild hooting, hollering, partying, and wet tee shirt contests among other things.
Hollywood took advantage of this tradition in America with a series of films called “Beach Blanket Bingo.” Many more versions were to follow. See the trailer of the 1965 film on YouTube. We miss you Annette.
Passover begins at midnight tomorrow, April 14 and runs through April 22 at midnight. Christians just observed Palm Sunday and will celebrate Easter this Sunday, April 19.
Enjoy your spring, Good Pesach, Happy Easter, and thanks for listening.