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May Day: Thoughts & Poems…

01/05/2012

“He who labors diligently need never despair; for all things are accomplished by diligence and labor.”  Menander of Ephesus

May Day: Thoughts & Poems... May Blossoms

May Day: Thoughts & Poems... Poster by Hugh D'Andrade via occuprint

Excerpt from May-Day by Ralph Waldo Emerson(1867)
Wreaths for the May! for happy Spring
Today shall all her dowry bring
The love of kind, the joy, the grace,
Hymen of element and race,
Knowing well to celebrate
With song and hue and star and state,
With tender light and youthful cheer,
The spousals of the new-born year.
Lo love’s inundation poured
Over space and race abroad

Happy May Day! I can’t believe we are already in a new month with goals to accomplish and high expectations for a warm and sunny spring. While we might see May as the height of spring, May 1 is an ancient Northern Hemisphere spring festival and holiday. It is celebrated in many cultures with a special festive ceremony or parade to welcome the fullness of spring. It is also the Feast of St Joseph the Worker, the patron saint of workers; hence its tie to labor and the world of work. In the USA, May Day is a day to honor the labor movement, Spring and another important holiday, Law Day. According to Wikipedia, Law Day “is meant to reflect on the role of law in the foundation of the country and to recognize its importance for society.” What ever our grand plans are for spring or the month of May, I’ve gathered a few poems that honor both May Day and the month of May… What goals do you have for this glorious month? UPDATE: ***I’ve added some posters curated from Occuprint.org. They showcase gorgeous global art from the occupy movement. Check out the posters!

“Peace and friendship with all mankind is our wisest policy, and I wish we may be permitted to pursue it.”  Thomas Jefferson

May Day: Thoughts & Poems...

May Day: Thoughts & Poems... Poster by Marx Aviano via occuprint

May Day by American poet Sara Teasdale (1884 – 1933)
A delicate fabric of bird song
Floats in the air,
The smell of wet wild earth
Is everywhere.

Red small leaves of the maple
Are clenched like a hand,
Like girls at their first communion
The pear trees stand.

Oh I must pass nothing by
Without loving it much,
The raindrop try with my lips,
The grass with my touch;

For how can I be sure
I shall see again
The world on the first of May
Shining after the rain?

As I read up on May Day, I found out that in many parts of the world,  May Day is synonymous with International Workers’ Day, or Labour Day. It was also viewed, in the Celtic tradition, as the end of spring and the beginning of summer. Another important tidbit I found is that May Day is considered a cross quarter day because it is halfway between the spring equinox and summer solstice.  Many of the celebrations we find include fertility celebrations, a cleansing and releasing of the energies of  the months gone by, and re-affirming and planting new seeds for the months ahead. What mental motivational seeds have you planted for the next six months?

“Don’t knock the weather: nine-tenths of the people couldn’t start a conversation if it didn’t change once in a while.” Kin Hubbard

May Day: Thoughts & Poems...

May Day: Thoughts & Poems... Poster by Rich Black via Occuprint

The Humours of May Day by Anon (1770)
What Frolicks are here
So droll and so queer
How joyful appeareth the day
E’en Bunter and Bawd
Unite to applaud
And celebrate first of the May

I find that once May kicks in, I begin to plan my summer and get-togethers with friends and family. Another important event to cherish this month is the 61st annual National Day of Prayer which will take place on Thursday, May 3, 2012. We can use a portion of that day to reflect, regroup, and extend our prayers and best wishes to our friends, family and all in need of a prayerful heart. What plans do you have for May? More poetry below…

“A bad day at work is better than a good day in hell.” Scott Johnson

May Day: Thoughts & Poems... Popular scene from Queen Guinevere's Maying

May Day: Thoughts & Poems... by Heather Kern via Occuprint

May Day Ditty by Della Hodgson James
May day is coming
When all will be gay,
‘Twil be fun and frolic
All the live, long day.
Flowers in the green woods
In the orchard, too,
Leaflets are growing
Every thing so new.

May, May, May
May, May, May,
May, May, May
Is that all that I can say.

May day is coming
May day is here,
The very happiest day
Of all the glad new year.

Call me early, Mother
Call me early, pray.
For we must crown the King,
The King, and Queen of May.

Queen Guinevere’s Maying or abduction adds another interest factor to the celebrations of May. She was known to be King Arthur’s wife but cheated on him with Lancelot. The convoluted story gives us a chance to refresh our space and mind, and find new stories to share… Here’s to a grand May!

Stay Inspired! What are your thoughts? What do you know about May Day? What do you do to celebrate it? Do have any stories or a parade event to share? Do share! Thank you. :-)

*Please bear with me as I continue to catch up on your blogs and commenting… Thank you all for your patience! :-)

Positive Motivation Tip: Spring is fully here and the body yearns for outdoor labor. Celebrate the spring and all it stands for.

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos May blossoms, May 1 poster,   Cherry tree, Queen Guinevere, via Wikipedia and/or via Flickr
All Posters identified via Occuprint.com
Emerson Excerpt from archives.org
Teasdale MayDay via Classiclit about.com, The Humours of May Day via umich.edu, May day ditty by Hodgson James via poemhunter.com

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

77 Comments leave one →
  1. 02/05/2012 1:34 am

    May in Louisville is all about the Kentucky Derby… We have every kind of event imaginable leading up to this climatic first Saturday in May…and the “Running for the Roses”…It’s a proud feeling…as we listen to “My Old KY Home” being played and watching the spirited race horses coming onto the track…The hustle and bustle of the out of town visitors…enjoyng our town more than us…This is May to me! ~mkg

    Like

    • 02/05/2012 10:19 am

      TY! Sounds like a wonderfully busy time in Kentucky, and for a great event too… Wish I were there! ;-)

      Like

  2. 02/05/2012 1:36 am

    great post here. ;-)

    Like

  3. Bree permalink
    02/05/2012 2:54 am

    Happy May Day to you too! Time does fly and soon it’d be labor day again.
    B

    Like

    • 02/05/2012 10:20 am

      Yes, it is amazing how the months are zipping by…. and then we’ll soon be in 2013. TY! :-)

      Like

  4. 02/05/2012 4:30 am

    May Day in Ghana is also workers day where all public workers or those who work for the government go on parade at the Independence Square. The president takes the salute and congratulates all workers for their efforts in pushing the development agenda of the country forward. Afterwards, there is great feasting among the workers who went on the parade. Those who are not able to attend watch the event on TV in their homes.

    Like

    • 02/05/2012 10:21 am

      TY! I’m impressed by the global nature of May Day… and especially an important one for workers. Thanks for sharing what happens in Ghana. ;-)

      Like

  5. 02/05/2012 4:58 am

    How beautiful. I didn’t know May Day, it’s educational.

    Like

  6. 02/05/2012 5:19 am

    beautiful post, fab pictures and lovely words/poems. ideal for Mayday..;)

    Like

    • 02/05/2012 10:22 am

      TY Cobbie… I just added the extra posters… Lots of creativity there. :-)

      Like

  7. 02/05/2012 8:49 am

    I’m in Louisville, just like Marilyn, above. May in Louisville is definitely all about the Derby! :)

    Like

    • 02/05/2012 9:07 am

      Cool… I’d love to attend the Derby some day… I’ve never been to Kentucky… on my bucket list now. ;-)

      Like

  8. 02/05/2012 9:06 am

    Wonderful thoughts about May! I have never added them up before, but it is a special month :-) I love the painting of Queen Guinevere’s Maying…that is really special! And the quote about “the weather” as a conversation starter is just a hoot! I may need to borrow that quote sometime! Debra

    Like

    • 02/05/2012 9:12 am

      Go right ahead and take that one. I had to use it because… like you said, it was a hoot! :lol:

      Like

  9. 02/05/2012 12:44 pm

    Thanks for the May Day lesson . . . amazing how much there is to learn and here on the events of a single month! Have a great day! :)

    Like

  10. 02/05/2012 1:16 pm

    good collection:)

    Like

  11. 02/05/2012 2:42 pm

    lovely

    Like

  12. 02/05/2012 3:51 pm

    I love that painting of Queen Guinevere’s Maying, especially. I can see you’ve put a considerable amount of time and thought into your post once again. Kudos to you! Job VERY well done. Enjoyable and informative read, for sure. :)

    Like

    • 02/05/2012 7:16 pm

      TY! I find that when I write a public interest post, new information finds its way to me to help me flesh out the content…. sort of mystical too. ;-)

      Like

  13. 03/05/2012 7:38 am

    “though April showers
    may come your way,
    They bring the flowers
    that bloom in May.
    So if it’s raining,
    Have no regrets,
    Because it isn’t raining rain, you know.
    It’s raining violets…..”

    From an old song my grandmother used to sing to us.

    Like

  14. 03/05/2012 11:54 am

    Truly occupying spring whole-heartedly is a very worthy goal. Celebrating honest labor is a party we all should have every day. Dancing around the flowering Maypoles of our lives is a wonderful heart medicine!

    Like

  15. 04/05/2012 6:32 am

    Souch a different perspective of May! We are heading into winter, so our entire focus is different. We bring out the warm clothes, get used to having the heating on instead of the cooling. We get used to driving home in the dark from work…. so very different!

    Like

  16. 04/05/2012 11:37 pm

    Did you know that the word law was introduced to the english language by the vikings? Anyway, on the 1st of May we celebrated Flora – the old Roman goddess of flowers, by visiting the Botanical Garden

    Like

  17. 05/05/2012 1:07 am

    Love the Sara Teasdale poem – I haven’t heard it before. It encourages me not to be too upset that here in the UK it’s raining, as usual, on a holiday weekend (no work on Monday, yay!)

    Like

    • 05/05/2012 1:17 am

      I’m still checking out the source on that one but it is a beautiful poem and works for the occasion. TY! ;-)

      Like

  18. 06/05/2012 2:56 am

    I’m afraid I don’t agree with Menander of Ephesus – one only has to look at the inequalities of the world: many people work so hard all their lives but are forgotten or discarded by the societies and systems which they served; others exploit and abuse others without putting in much effort themselves at all and they inherit the world

    Like

  19. 06/05/2012 8:08 pm

    Great post. Nice pictures as well. I have nominated you for the Kreativ Blogger Award. http://efratadenny.com/2012/05/07/the-kreativ-blogger-award/

    Like

  20. 07/05/2012 5:36 pm

    Happy May!

    Like

  21. 14/05/2012 7:58 am

    Thanks for letting me camp out in your blog today. I had a great time and tried to leave my campsite as clean as when I arrived.

    Like

  22. maggiesblog2 permalink
    30/04/2015 8:41 pm

    May signifies spring for me. It’s when it really starts to warm up here and things bloom!

    Like

  23. bri permalink
    30/04/2015 9:02 pm

    I never knew May Day existed. Thanks for the post.

    Like

  24. Beth@FrugalFroggie permalink
    30/04/2015 9:05 pm

    Happy May Day for sure. Definitely going to celebrate tomorrow.

    Like

  25. Robin permalink
    01/05/2015 2:26 am

    I have never heard of may day,so thanks for the lesson.

    Like

  26. savingcmncents permalink
    01/05/2015 4:02 am

    Happy May Day! It is finally starting to feel like spring is here! We’ll be heading out to our old neighbors to surprise them with a May Day Basket! :)

    Like

  27. Tee permalink
    01/05/2015 5:18 am

    Happy May! You did a great job choosing the poems and the photos to accompany this post. May is one of my favorites months in the year :)

    Like

  28. Dhemz permalink
    01/05/2015 6:24 am

    oh, my! good to know…Happy May!

    Like

  29. JessicaACassidy (@wifetoalineman) permalink
    01/05/2015 6:53 am

    I love the poem, it is beautiful. I love all your photos especially the flowers. Today is extra special because it is my Dad’s birthday. He would be 79 today but he is in heaven now celebrating with the angels.

    Like

  30. Carly Brydon Anderson permalink
    01/05/2015 7:13 am

    Thank you for sharing these wonderful thoughts, quotes, poems, and photos of May! I am so ready to celebrate Spring!

    Like

  31. Shonda permalink
    01/05/2015 7:50 am

    Such a positive post. We should thoroughly enjoy the spring and all it has the offer. We may not be heading to the Derby in Louisville this year, but we are celebrating this week. It’s a packed weekend full of activities nationwide for people to get and out smell the roses.

    Like

  32. kleebanks permalink
    01/05/2015 10:34 am

    I blogged about May Day, too – like many others, I’m sure! Thanks for sharing all these interesting facts, poems, and pictures!

    Like

  33. 01/05/2015 3:39 pm

    I didn’t even know there were many May poems. ;) I can see why people are inspired though, where I live it is a beautiful month! Maybe even my favorite of the year. :)

    Like

  34. 01/05/2015 7:46 pm

    Just love it, a great post indeed! I really love the pictures, especially those beautiful flowers and I like the poems as well. Happy May.

    Like

  35. Tiffany Yong permalink
    02/05/2015 1:56 am

    It’s May now… So fast… days and speeding by, time is precious and I have yet to accomplish the stuff I need to do!

    Like

  36. Jason Panuelos permalink
    02/05/2015 2:19 am

    Beautiful tribute to May Day! Loved reading this! :D

    Like

  37. Raquel permalink
    02/05/2015 6:21 am

    If we take the time to observe everything around us instead of just shuffling to and from work, we will realize that there are a lot of awesome patterns everywhere. The ones illustrated are good examples of it.

    Like

  38. Anne V permalink
    02/05/2015 10:39 am

    May Day, learning something new here. Here in the Philippines it’s Labor Day on May 1. So we’re on Holiday and it’s the favorite time for people to rally somewhere to complain about the wage and ask the government for a raise. Today was a bit peaceful, but maybe that’s because the whole country is focused on the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight in a couple of hours?

    Like

  39. lee rosales permalink
    02/05/2015 6:43 pm

    May 1st in Manila is Labor Day. We also celebrate Mothers Day on 2nd or 3rd Sunday of May.

    Like

  40. Michelle hwee permalink
    02/05/2015 9:13 pm

    What a great compilation! I love the poems you shared :)

    Like

  41. Fred Hawson permalink
    03/05/2015 2:29 am

    Never realized that May was such a favorite month for poets. I enjoyed reading the poems you shared with us.

    Like

  42. Papaleng Pagulong permalink
    03/05/2015 7:09 am

    May 1 is Lbor day in our country but aside from it May is very special for me and my wife. May 19 was the date that we first have our baby. Love the poems you’ve posted.

    Like

  43. amayachika permalink
    03/05/2015 7:11 pm

    Here in the Philippines, 1st day of May is a Holiday because we celebrate “LABOR DAY”. We give honor to all dedicated social and economic achievements workers.

    Like

  44. phyliciamarie permalink
    03/05/2015 10:33 pm

    Ours is also with the labor movement, we don’t actually call it May day though, May 1 is my country’s Labor day. Those posters from occuprint are really nice, though you wouldn’t immediately think of the workforce when looking at the colorful posters.

    Like

  45. Ling Tan permalink
    04/05/2015 2:50 am

    Here in Singapore May 1st is Labor Day. I’ve always known, but not understood why, it is a significant date throughout the world. So thanks for sharing the tidbits about it!

    Like

  46. sikat101 permalink
    04/05/2015 3:45 am

    May is my last chance to shed inches off my tummy area. I have a beach vacation with friends next month. I need to fit into my swimwear! -katrina centeno

    Like

  47. raymond permalink
    04/05/2015 3:52 am

    May 1 is labor day and I just had a blast in one of the islands in our country! :D I had a canyoneering activity with them and wow! It’s an amazing place. Our summer here starts at april, and all my april weekends have been spent to travels. My last summer travel is on the 15th. :D

    Like

  48. franckxethee permalink
    04/05/2015 5:25 am

    There’s so much to celebrate for May. There’s labor day, there’s mothers day. It feels that the four months just breezed by and we are now in May.

    Like

  49. yuhjiun permalink
    04/05/2015 7:02 am

    Thanks for sharing and this is kinda inspiring! :D

    Like

  50. MapleMouseMama permalink
    04/05/2015 8:08 pm

    Great tutorial on May Day. There is lots here I did not know. What I do know is that May is one of the best months of the year here in Canada. We get the beautiful sunny weather with cooler temps in the evening. The trees are in bloom and all is new again. It is truly the start of life waking up!

    Like

  51. Kylie permalink
    04/05/2015 8:58 pm

    Happy May day for everyone here.. I really don’t know so many things about May Day until I read your post… Thanks for sharing!

    Like

  52. Chanel Marie permalink
    04/05/2015 10:43 pm

    I love May! Flowers are abloom! The sun is up! The weather is perky! I just love May!

    Like

  53. Joy Felizardo permalink
    06/05/2015 6:59 am

    I also love May! It always usher in a feeling of warmth and cheerfulness, the weather here in Manila starts to mellow in preparation for the rainy season, Thanks for sharing the poem, love them!

    Like

  54. leybainpublic permalink
    06/05/2015 8:59 pm

    Lots of events happens in May. Mother’s day, Cinco De Mayo and of course, the Labor Day. May bring lots of memories for me as well. Thanks for this great post.

    Like

  55. Denise permalink
    08/05/2015 6:10 am

    I absolutely love this post, thank you.

    Like

  56. desafio6 permalink
    08/05/2015 6:20 am

    Great post! Very inspirational.

    Like

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