The Month of March

March's birthstone is Bloodstone.

The flower is Daffodil.

In America March is National Nutrition Month and Poetry Month

March was the beginning of the legal year in Great Britain and the Colonies until 1752.

The full moon of March is most often* refered to as Lenten Moon or Worm Moon, and the Roman festival of Anna Perrena was held at this time.

March is named after the Roman god Mars.

"Whan that month in which the world bigan,
That highte March, whan God first maked man."
Chaucer

Floating Holidays of March
First Sunday after Easter = Quasimodo or Low Sunday.
Save Your Vision Week = First week, Sun thru Sat.
Procrastination Week = First week, Mon thru Sat.
Art Week = Last week, Mon. thru Sat.
Agriculture Day = Third Mon.
Vernal Equinox in northen hemispere, about March 21st.


*Also Sap Moon, Windy Moon, Crow Moon, Crust Moon, Maple Sugar Moon.

March

         I

    Winter is long in this climate
    and spring--a matter of a few days
    only,--a flower or two picked
    from mud or from among wet leaves
    or at best against treacherous
    bitterness of wind, and sky shining
    teasingly, then closing in black
    and sudden, with fierce jaws.

         II

    March,
               you reminded me of
    the pyramids, our pyramids--
    stript of the polished stone
    that used to guard them!
                                        March,
    you are like Fra Angelico
    at Fiesole, painting on plaster!

    March,
                 you are like a band of
    young poets that have not learned
    the blessedness of warmth
    (or have forgotten it).
    At any rate--
    I am moved to write poetry
    for the warmth there is in it
    and for the loneliness--
    a poem that shall have you
        in it March.

         III

    See!
             Ashur-ban-i-pal,
    the archer king, on horse-back,
    in blue and yellow enamel!
    with drawn bow--facing lions
    standing on their hind legs,
    fangs bared! his shafts
    bristling in their necks!

    Sacred bulls--dragons
    in embossed brickwork
    marching--in four tiers--
    along the sacred way to
    Nebuchadnezzar's throne hall!
    They shine in the sun,
    they that have been marching--
    marching under the dust of
    ten thousand dirt years.

    Now--
    they are coming into bloom again!
    See them!
    marching still, bared by
    the storms from my calender
    --winds that blow back the sand!
    winds that enfilade dirt!
    winds that by strange craft
    have whipt up a black army
    that by pick and shovel
    bare a procession to
                                   the god, Marduk!

    Natives cursing and digging
    for pay unearth dragons with
    upright tails and sacred bulls
    alternately--
                          in four tiers--
    lining the way to an old altar!
    Natives digging at old walls--
    digging me warmth--digging me sweet loneliness
    high enamelled walls.

         IV

    My second spring--
    passed in a monastery
    with plaster walls--in Fiesole
    on the hill above 'Florence.
    My second spring--painted
    a virgin--in a blue aureole
    sitting on a three-legged stool,
    arms crossed--
    she is intently serious,
                                      and still
    watching an angel
    with colored wings
    half kneeling before her--
    and smiling--the angel's eyes
    holding the eyes of Mary
    as a snake's hold a bird's.
    On the ground there are flowers,
    trees are in leaf.

         V

    But! now for the battle!
    Now for murder--now for the real thing!
    My third springtime is approaching!
    Winds!
    lean, serious as a virgin,
    seeking, seeking the flowers of March.

    Seeking
    flowers nowhere to be found,
    they twine among the bare branches
    in insatiable eagerness--
    they whirl up the snow
    seeking under it--
    they--the winds--snakelike
    roar among yellow reeds
    seeking flowers--flowers.

    I spring among them
    seeking one flower
    in which to warm myself!

    I deride with all the ridicule
    of misery--
    my own starved misery.

    Counter-cutting winds
    strike against me
    refreshing their fury!

    Come, good, cold fellows!
    Have we no flowers?
    Defy then with even more
    desperation than ever--being
    lean and frozen!

    But though you are lean and frozen--
    think of the blue bulls of Babylon.

    Fling yourselves upon
    their empty roses--
              cut savagely!

    But--
    think of the painted monastery
    at Fiesole.

William Carlos Williams (1883-1963)


March is a part of Williams' Sour Grapes (1921) collection.The following excerpt is Williams's 1920 Kora in Hell. Kora was one of Williams's favorite creations because it revealed as he said "myself to me." I thought it was of a novel interest because it shows a frank, uncompromising attitude about his work. He and Dolittle were at first classmates at the University of Pennsylvania introduced by Ezra Pound and later friends.

    Hilda Doolittle before she began to write poetry or at least before she began to show it to anyone would say: "You're not satisfied with me, are you Billy? There's something lacking, isn't there?" When I was with her my feet always seemed to be sticking to the ground while she would be walking on the tips of the grass stems.

    Ten years later as assistant editor of the Egoist she refers to my long poem,March, which thanks to her own and her husband's friendly attentions finally appeared there in a purified form:

    14 Aug. 1916
    Dear Bill:--

    I trust you will not hate me for wanting to delete from your poem all the flippancies. The reason I want to do this is that the beautiful lines are so very beautiful--so in the tone and spirit of your Postlude--(which to me stands, a Nike, supreme among your poems). I think there is real beauty--and real beauty is a rare and sacred thing in this generation--in all the pyramid, Ashur-ban-i-pal bits and in the Fiesole and in the wind at the very last.

    I don't know what you think but I consider this business of writing a very sacred thing!--I think you have the "spark"--am sure of it, and when you speak direct are a poet. I feel in the hey-ding-ding touch running through your poem a derivative tendency which, to me, is not you--not your very self. It is as if you were ashamed of your Spirit, ashamed of your inspiration!--as if you mocked at your own song. It's very well to mock at yourself--it is a spiritual sin to mock at your inspiration--
    Hilda

    Oh well, all this might be very disquieting were it not that "sacred" has lately been discovered to apply to a point of arrest where stabilization has gone on past the time. There is nothing sacred about literature, it is damned from one end to the other. There is nothing in literature but change and change is mockery. I'll write whatever I damn please, whenever I damn please and as I damn please and it'll be good if the authentic spirit of change is on it.

Sources:

Center for Bookculture.org:
http://www.centerforbookculture.org/context/no2/williams.html

Public domain text taken from The Poets’ Corner:
http://www.theotherpages.org/poems/wcw-sg1.html#2

CST Approved.

X - March

The Sun at noon to higher air,
Unharnessing the silver Pair
That late before his chariot swam,
Rides on the gold wool of the Ram.

So braver notes the storm-cock sings
To start the rusted wheel of things,
And brutes in field and brutes in pen
Leap that the world goes round again.

The boys are up the woods with day
To fetch the daffodils away,
And home at noonday from the hills
They bring no dearth of daffodils.

Afield for palms the girls repair,
And sure enough the palms are there,
And each will find by hedge or pond
Her waving silver-tufted wand.

In farm and field through all the shire
The eye beholds the heart's desire;
Ah, let not only mine be vain,
For lovers should be loved again.

A.E. Housman, A Shropshire Lad
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A march is a stereotypical piece of music for band. Picture any high school marching band in a parade, and they're probably playing a march. Marches are often upbeat, and feature brass instruments heavily, with percussion keeping a strong beat to keep in step, and occasional woodwind solis.

It's generally agreed that the granddaddy of the modern march is John Philip Sousa. It's a rare band that's never played a Sousa march, and it's a good bet that if you've ever been to a Fourth of July1 parade, you've heard something he wrote.



1: Excuse my Americentricism, but most of these marches are patriotic music for the Marine Band, so I'm unsure that they'd be played elsewhere.

I’m reminded of Dorian Grey
A self hatred understood on a profound
And philosophical level
Tired but still alive
Rich but soured by the arbitrary nature of
Paper with numbers written on it
And the distinct shortage of it
Handed out by men with ties
To men without
Like laws
Health care for people who deserve it
Pain killers
Suppressants
This is the language of a people who
Want to die
It’s okay though
We’ll write thousands of laws in stone
And say that only ten of them are important
We’ll tell ourselves that we’re all different
And special
But we all need to be the same to get along
Because we’re all equal by virtue of being alive
Except you – you’re poor
And you – you’re new and unwelcome to this country
And you – you’re homosexual
And you – you’re too young
And you – you’re too old
And you – you’re sick
And you – you’re born disabled
So get in line and march
And sway coldly to the rhythm of seven billion steps
In unison
And be pacified by the voice over the loud speaker
Shop at Wal Mart
Wear Gap
Don’t complain
Play nice
Buy more
Care less
Your vote has a voice
A muted, broken voice that says which of the elite decides your future
Your freedom earned on a beach seventy years ago
Is now just black and white flickers you ignore to watch barbies and kens dying in Jersey
Worshiping in an orgy of sex, drugs, and booze
The golden calf
And we stand on the fringe smashing the tablets
Mourning the death of man

March (?), n. [L. Martius mensis Mars'month fr. Martius belonging to Mars, the god of war: cf. F. mars. Cf. Martial.]

The third month of the year, containing thirty-one days.

The stormy March is come at last, With wind, and cloud, and changing skies. Bryant.

As mad as a March Hare, an old English Saying derived from the fact that March is the rutting time of hares, when they are excitable and violent.

Wright.

 

© Webster 1913.


March, n. [OE. marche, F. marche; of German origin; cf. OHG. marcha, G. mark, akin to OS. marka, AS. mearc, Goth. marka, L. margo edge, border, margin, and possibly to E. mark a sign. 106. Cf. Margin, Margrave, Marque, Marquis.]

A territorial border or frontier; a region adjacent to a boundary line; a confine; -- used chiefly in the plural, and in English history applied especially to the border land on the frontiers between England and Scotland, and England and Wales.

Geneva is situated in the marches of several dominions -- France, Savoy, and Switzerland. Fuller.

Lords of waste marches, kings of desolate isles. Tennyson.

 

© Webster 1913.


March, v. i. [Cf. OF. marchir. See 2d March.]

To border; to be contiguous; to lie side by side.

[Obs.]

That was in a strange land Which marcheth upon Chimerie. Gower.

To march with, to have the same boundary for a greater or less distance; -- said of an estate.

 

© Webster 1913.


March, v. i. [imp. & p. p. Marched (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Marching.] [F. marcher, in OF. also, to tread, prob. fr. L. marcus hammer. Cf. Mortar.]

1.

To move with regular steps, as a soldier; to walk in a grave, deliberate, or stately manner; to advance steadily.

Shak.

2.

To proceed by walking in a body or in military order; as, the German army marched into France.

 

© Webster 1913.


March, v. t.

TO cause to move with regular steps in the manner of a soldier; to cause to move in military array, or in a body, as troops; to cause to advance in a steady, regular, or stately manner; to cause to go by peremptory command, or by force.

March them again in fair array. Prior.

 

© Webster 1913.


March, n. [F. marche.]

1.

The act of marching; a movement of soldiers from one stopping place to another; military progress; advance of troops.

These troops came to the army harassed with a long and wearisome march. Bacon.

2.

Hence: Measured and regular advance or movement, like that of soldiers moving in order; stately or deliberate walk; steady onward movement.

With solemn march Goes slow and stately by them. Shak.

This happens merely because men will not bide their time, but will insist on precipitating the march of affairs. Buckle.

3.

The distance passed over in marching; as, an hour's march; a march of twenty miles.

4.

A piece of music designed or fitted to accompany and guide the movement of troops; a piece of music in the march form.

The drums presently striking up a march. Knolles.

To make a march, Card Playing, to take all the tricks of a hand, in the game of euchre.

 

© Webster 1913.

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