April is the cruellest month

T S Eliot’s great modernist poem, The Waste Land  opens with these famous lines:

April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land…

It seems only fair that we should look at some of Eliot’s work in April: at some of his remarkable, highly influential poems (he is known as one of the founders of Modernism). There are also some scandalous biographies about his life and a few interesting novels and films based on Eliot as a character (not to mention the musical… ).

Then  there’s Geoffrey Chaucer, another poet who was very keen on Aprille , with his shoures sote (sweet showers.)  In fact, April is National Poetry Month in the US, so this is the perfect time to look at poetry as yet another form of intellectual stimulation and entertainment available to the Reading Woman.

But first of all, there’s April Fool’s Day…


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