Here comes Baisakh! Another spring and year \1
Moves through the land we left behind us then. \2
And people celebrate, and cast off fear,
In old Iran's Nov-ruz, since who knows when! \3
As Holi goes, with color, from our land, \4
The Jews at Pesach seders meet all 'round, \5
And Christians hold the oblong eggs in hand,
To dainty patterns paint, that were around,
When Druids in Europe gathered in the spring, \6
And, in Greek isles, sweet bacchanals were thrown:
By olive grove, folks danced in a great ring;
And wine and song did flow, all quite home grown!
In all those parts, where winter yields to spring,
Folk gathered 'round, the fresh green growth to greet;
And amorous youths did flirt, and all did sing,
Of this new birth, when cold gives way to heat!
Babui (Arjun) Janah
< email@example.com >
Brooklyn, New York.
1. Baisakh is the second month of spring, and of the new year, in the Hindu calendar.
2. The “land” referred to here is the subcontinent, and “then” to thirty years ago.
3. Nov-ruz, or “New Day” is the Iranian new year. After the Islamic revolution, It’s ritual observance was discouraged by conservative mullahs. Some now celebrate it as a way of defying them.
4. Holi, celebrated in March, is the Spring festival in India, in which people sprinkle colored powders or spray colored water on each other.
5. Pesach is the Jewish commemoration of Passover.
6. The eggs of Easter date from pre-Christian fertility rituals associated with spring.