I have been meaning to write about the merry merry month of May, and its derivation, since April. But I’ve come to the conclusion that I haven’t written about it, not simply because I’ve been massively busy with new work, but because it’s just not a question that interests me enough. Look around you is probably the answer, and perhaps one of the poems in Thomas Dekker’s The Shoemaker’s Holiday, published in 1600:
O, the month of May, the merry month of May,
So frolic, so gay, and so green, so green, so green;
So the poem for this month is from (the poet laureate) Carol Ann Duffy’s collection Rapture. I have chosen the poem ‘You‘; you can read it here. Then buy the book. You won’t be disappointed. Incidentally, isn’t ‘Rapture’ a beautiful word? The sound of the word alone carrying its meaning.
Also what made me sit up this week was the South Africa Today series of articles in last Sunday’s Observer, which I have just caught up with. The piece by Rian Malan is wonderfully caustic, the article by Albie Sachs full of quiet beauty, but best of all the farewell note written to Margie Orford by Rashied Wewers, the oldest member of her writing class in Victor Verster maximum security prison:
A book with a damaged cover, but what is
Written between the lines could save a country
From a disaster.