May Day: Thoughts & Poems…

“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

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37 responses to “May Day: Thoughts & Poems…

  1. 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

  2. great post here. ;-)

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

  4. 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.

    • 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. ;-)

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

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

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

  8. 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

  9. 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! :)

  10. good collection:)

  11. 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. :)

    • 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. ;-)

  12. “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.

  13. 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!

  14. 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!

  15. 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

  16. 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!)

  17. 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

  18. 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/

  19. 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.

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