T.S. Elliot Got It Wrong
Seasons’ changes affect me profoundly, and that in turn affects my writing. But at least I am in good company.
T.S. Elliot begins The Wasteland with the famous line, “April is the cruellest month.”
However, I think he got the month wrong. At least here in the North, November is the cruellest month. And this year, unlike last, November is jumping the gun. It is still October, but most days it looks and feels like November. Stark, bleak, gray.
It almost makes me wish for winter, and its bright blanket of snow glistening in the crisp, crystalline sunshine. One can just cosy up in one’s study and admire it out the window, with no outdoor chores nagging at your conscience.
As Elliot, apparently nostalgic for winter, writes a few lines later…
“Winter kept us warm, covering
Earth in forgetful snow, feeding
A little life with dried tubers…”
(Don’t get me wrong. I’m no fan of winter and its associated hassles. And one can’t just hibernate indoors till spring comes.)
But April, and the warm spring days it heralds, isn’t cruel. Yes, it is true that spring in Northern Ontario isn’t a exactly a treat for the senses, for the warming temperatures bring us the filthy, gray remains of winter’s snow banks and the aroma of melting dog shit. But nevertheless I always welcome it.
No, April isn’t the cruellest month. November is.