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This month continues the series Longfellow called The Poet’s Calendar, written mostly in 1880. While writing about the days of February, he refers to something you might not have read: a six-book Latin poem on months and days by Ovid (Publius Ovidius Naso) “published” in the year 8. This source tells more about the seasonal custom of purifying the earth and how pine branches were involved in the ancient, pre-Roman ritual that gave this month its name.
I am lustration, and the sea is mine!
I wash the sands and headlands with my tide;
My brow is crowned with branches of the pine; Read more
“Up to the age of thirty, or beyond it, poetry of many kinds, such as the works of Milton, Gray, Byron, Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Shelley, gave me great pleasure . . . But now for many years I cannot endure to read a line of poetry; . . . My mind seems to have become a kind of machine for grinding general laws out of large collections of facts . . . If I had my life to live over again, I would have made a rule to read some poetry and listen to some music at least once every week. The loss of these tastes is a loss of happiness, and may possibly be injurious to the intellect, and more probably to the moral character, by enfeebling the emotional part of our nature.”
“In the depths of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer. And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger–something better, pushing right back.”