April, The Cruelest Month

Tori Franklin
Published in
3 min readApr 2

How spring exposes those in despair.

On the morning of April 1st, I was sent a portion of a poem, The Waste Land by the famous T.S Eliot.

“April is the cruelest month, breeding

Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing

Memory and desire, stirring

Dull roots with spring rain.

Winter kept us warm, covering

Earth in forgetful snow, feeding

A little life with dried tubers.”

I told him that it was beautiful but that I disagree with the first line. I don’t think April is the cruelest at all, but it’s the exact opposite. I think it's enriching, enlivening, restorative.

He said in general, he agrees, but that without context it may be difficult to understand the true intent of the full 500-line poem. He sent me an article that describes what T.S. Eliot really meant.

“Eliot is reminding us that contrast can have a great effect on our happiness. As April arrives with promises of Spring, sun, beauty, and growth, the despairing person is placed in stark contrast to the bright world around them. In winter, however, everything is dead, cold, barely alive, and doesn’t show a contrast to the inner life of a man in despair…. The narrator's sadness would be made worse by the world around them being so full of life.”

Not everyone sees the sun and feels its warmth. Not everyone watches the ocean and feels gratitude. For some people, these moments bring memories that send waves of sadness, highlighting how differently they’ve felt throughout the winter months which carry the same tones of solitude and somber ambiance.

Later in the day, I went to an art exhibit titled Modern Love. The artists shared stories and images that depicted a society wrought with devices that surround our hearts and make us impenetrable to true emotional connection. It showed the lengths that people will go to to create false intimacy, and how easy it is for us to throw away connection. It’s said that the beginning of spring is an especially common time for couples to break up. Spring cleaning, as some may call it.

As the flowers bud, birds begin to sing again, and days slowly get longer and brighter…

Tori Franklin
Writer for

Olympic Triple Jumper. World Championship Medalist. Public Speaker on Mental Health and Dream Chasing. Non- Profit Founder. AUTHOR!!!