Exeter, Devon UK • May 27, 2024 • VOL XII

Exeter, Devon UK • [date-today] • VOL XII
Home Arts & Lit Literature for Spring: Maya Angelou’s In Retrospect

Literature for Spring: Maya Angelou’s In Retrospect

Gracie Moore, Online Arts and Lit Editor, shares her favourite poem for the Spring and why it means so much to her
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Image: Jacob.W.Frank via Flickr

Last year changed its seasons
subtly, stripped its sultry winds
for the reds of dying leaves, let
gelid drips of winter ice melt onto a
warming earth and urged the dormant
bulbs to brave the pain
of spring.

We, loving, above the whim of
time, did not notice.

Alone, I remember now.

In Retrospect – Maya Angelou

For many, Spring signals the end of the long, hard slog of dark days and cold weather in which the blossoming of a daffodil in a front garden can single-handedly end seasonal depression. Spring is also associated with new beginnings, growth and abundant love. Personally, the beauty of Spring appearing every year reminds me that I am often not present enough in life to stop and take notice of the change.

This is why I really resonate with Maya Angelou’s poem In Retrospect because I often finding myself getting caught up in life’s tribulations that I forget to pay attention to the subtlety of Winter’s run into Spring. Also, I think it perfectly sums up what it feels like to be in love and therefore, utterly wrapped up in someone else’s presence in your life that you forget to make the most of your own presence in this world.

The final line “Alone, I remember now.” moves me the most as it reflects the feeling of Spring coming back again and this time, being more cognisant of the subtle changes because the person that had all your attention is now gone and the previously unconscious acknowledgement of Spring’s arrival is now completely conscious. And it hurts. The pink blossom, pretty tulips and warmer air reminds us of the person we had during last Spring’s arrival. And who we have since lost. “We, loving, above the whim of time, did not notice.” also feels painfully relatable. Two souls connecting and subsequently forgetting about everything and everyone else is a feeling most of us have experienced.

Alone, I remember now.

In Retrospect, Maya Angelou

Overall, I love Angelou’s vivid description of exactly how Winter slips into Spring. It’s almost like it directly reflects falling out of love and becoming at one with yourself again as well as paying more attention to the natural beauty of life. In reality, last year’s seasonal change was no more “subtle” than this year. It’s about prioritising what carries our attention and what is important.

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