Anything that everybody writes poetry about, you can bet it's pretty miserable. Like love and death. And spring. Spring is the soggy Kleenex of seasons. Spring is one last sleetstorm falling on mud. Spring is never, ever as good as you think it's going to be.

The songs and poems about it are terrific, though. We all know them -- Shakespeare, Eliot, Pound, Noel Coward, Tennyson, Rodgers and Hart, Shelley, e.e. cummings, Gilbert and Sullivan. All the bards take a shot at spring. After a while it turns into one big poem. Everybody knows at least a few lines. C'mon now, everybody sing: Oh to be in England, now that April is the cruelest month, and a young man's fancy lightly turns mud luscious and puddle wonderful.

See, it's easy. You can do it yourself. Throw in some petals on a wet black bough, which are not to be confused with the flowers that bloom in the spring, tra la, which they do whenever spring breaks through again.

It's not all good news. April showers may come your way and rough winds do shake the darling buds of May. You may find yourself asking: Spring is here -- why doesn't my heart go dancing?

If so, take comfort in one of the most ancient poetic truths our language holds: Sumer is icumen in.