There are three months of the Spring

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There are three months of the Spring

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H bMS Am 1118.95, Box 9

C. 1889?; in handwriting similar to "Of June, and her belongings." Pencil, on blue-ruled paper torn from larger sheet. In theme and attention to nature's ever-changing light, this resembles many of ED's nature poems. And the first stanza echoes "These are the Days when Birds come back."

Fair draft with few revisions; probably a copy. Four regular hymn-ballad stanzas of alternating rhyme; Susan appears to drop first stanza--note the cancellation marks and the line drawn to separate the first stanza from second as if to signal a new beginning for the poem.

In general, poem follows conventions of other nineteenth century printed poetry; she mirrors most those whose work blends elements of reserved formalism with the Romantics' more indulgent diction and imagery, e.g., Felicia Hemans and Alfred Lord Tennyson. In particular, note the contrast of the Romantic invocation to the moon "Awake..." with the hymnal quality of its refrain and alternating meter. Susan also interweaves elements of prosaic realism, as in "That winter must depart," with the more fanciful "a new enchantment lends."

The troupe of the poem, its "three months of Spring," echoes Emily’s "Two Season’s" of the "Summer," (J 930; c. 1864) though Susan's is not so complex or allegorical in its observation. This poem is the best example in a constellation of companion pieces, including "Hyssop", "Irony", "Minstrel of the Passing Days" and "Fresher than Dawn...", that explore and juxtapose the extremes of light and temperature. This is a central theme/conceit of the corpus that mirrors Emily's and points to several critical influences, including The Old Testament, Shakespeare, Milton and the numerous re-visions by the Romantics.