NaPoWriMo says: "In his poem “The Wasteland,” T.S. Eliot famously declared that “April is the cruelest month.” But is it? I’d have thought February. Today I challenge you to write a poem in which you explore what think is the cruelest month, and why. Perhaps it’s September, because kids have to go back to school. Or January, because the holidays are over and now you’re up to your neck in snow. Or maybe it’s a month most people wouldn’t think of (like April), but which you think of because of something that’s happened in your life."
I'd have to say November, but Thomas Hood already nailed that month with a poem that captures its bleak quality very well. Even thinking of it led me to this, by Flanders and Swann, "A Song of the Weather", which of course led me to various other gems by them. Back to the calendar year, give this a quick listen:
However, none of this is helping me get a poem written, and today's Found Poetry prompt isn't coming along any faster. So here goes.
NOVEMBER, BLEAK AND SAD
Darker each day, you plod towards Solstice
bringing cold, rain, slippery roads,
cancelled flights and Christmas looming,
the realization that once again I'm not going to make
those thoughtful lovely homemade gifts
I dreamed up in July.
Why do more of my friends and family die/
have funerals when you show up?
At least you're short, though even February
has you beat — few as they are, its days get longer.
Just when I want to hibernate
you shake out a list of things
that must be put off no longer:
winter tires, Christmas baking,
and the abominable annual seasonal letter
my mother still refers to as the Christmas Crap Sheet
(although she did let me write hers last year),
requests for books to be made (for someone else),
and the mice move back inside.
November, get a grip!
Go south for a bit, get a tan,
learn to drink tequila straight,
come home late from dancing.