Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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Why, according to "An April Day," is it sweet to visit the wood during springtime?

Quick answer:

According to the speaker in "An April Day," it is sweet to visit the wood during springtime because new life is bursting forth: plants are growing, birds are flying and singing, and the trees themselves are reviving. Thoughts of the woodland in spring give the speaker great pleasure.

Expert Answers

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The speaker loves to visit the woods during springtime, especially April, for a number of reasons. First, the woodland is the place where the speaker sees spring's first flowers. Second, at this time of year, the forest "glades," or open spaces between trees, are full of newly sprouted plants.

The speaker also enjoys seeing the trees, which were "drooping" in winter, revive. In the woods in spring, the birds fly as well, and the speaker takes pleasure in watching they as they "glance quick in the bright sun." He also likes hearing them "warble" their songs.

The speaker finds joy in seeing the contrast between sun and shade this time of year and, in the evening, enjoys the moon over the lake and the many stars, as well as the reflection of the trees in the water.

Finally, the speaker says in the last stanza, "many a thought is wedded" to these memories of springtime in woods, with the speaker feeling forever joined to them. As we can discern from the previous stanzas, these thoughts are positive and give the speaker solace. They don't "fail" the speaker, but sustain him until fall comes and "golden fruit" is "shed."

This is a Romantic poem, celebrating the simple joys that nature brings as it bursts into new life in the woods in spring and provides a storehouse of pleasant memories for the speaker to enjoy.

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