Some may not realize it, but April is National Poetry Month, and April 30 is Poem in Your Pocket Day. I heard about it this morning on the radio.
So rather than carrying a poem around in my pocket, I figured I'd share one here. But first, a little background.
When we were in the Adirondacks two weekends ago, there still was not a lot of evidence of Spring; the leaves weren't really out yet and the flowers weren't blooming as they already were down here in New Jersey. But the birds were singing, and I enjoyed hearing them, knowing that they were heralding the coming of Spring even before it was obvious to our eyes.
While we were over at our cabin in the afternoon, we started to hear this strange shrieking noise; it sounded like a bird. Then there were more of them, louder and louder. It was kind of eerie, but I just figured there was a flock of birds that I wasn't seeing, up in the trees somewhere.
As part of our afternoon's adventures, we finally drove the Jeep all the way to the end of the road that goes past our cabin. It's an unimproved gravel road that has not been maintained for many years. It is shown on maps as a Jeep trail. So we decided to prove that our Jeep was up for the challenge. We made it up and down every hill, rock and boulder that we came across with no problem. It was fun riding past areas we had never seen before since our car wouldn't have been able to make it through. But all along the deserted road, lined on either side with ponds, brush and trees, we heard the shrieking noise. It was really getting scary - like being inside an Alfred Hitchcock movie! And still I could see nothing that was making this noise.
We finally went back to the place we were staying and as I was sitting there I suddenly said "Spring Peepers!" DH looked at me as if I'd lost my mind. "Spring Peepers," I repeated. "That's what that noise was." He had never heard of Spring Peepers, but I had a vague memory of such a thing. I Googled it (thank goodness for Blackerries, as the cabin we were staying in has no wi fi) and sure enough, that's what they were. They are little frogs (only about an inch long!) that come out in the spring and make this amazing sound.
Here's a video I found that will let you hear what they sound like, plus the terrain is very similar to what we were driving past. (However, the road is in better shape than ours!)
So after all of this research I suddenly remembered this poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay and now I finally understand what she meant by it.
I had forgotten how the frogs must sound
After a year of silence, else I think
I should not so have ventured forth alone
At dusk upon this unfrequented road.
I am waylaid by Beauty. Who will walk
Between me and the crying of the frogs?
Oh, savage Beauty, suffer me to pass,
That am a timid woman, on her way
From one house to another!
-Edna St. Vincent Millay