[Ads-l] Santayana and "appointment with April"

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Sat Aug 13 14:55:53 UTC 2016

Intriguing anecdote, Stephen. Thanks for sharing the citation. Below
is a precursor from the journal of Thoreau in which he writes: "I have
an appointment with Spring."

Year: 1881
Title: Early Spring in Massachusetts: From the Journal of Henry D. Thoreau
Volume: 5
Editor: Harrison Gray Otis Blake
Publisher: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, Boston, Massachusetts
Quote Page: 200 and 201


[Begin excerpt]
March 22 1853. As soon as those spring mornings arrive in which the
birds sing, I am sure to be an early riser, I am waked by my genius, I
wake to inaudible melodies, and am surprised to find myself awaiting
the dawn in so serene and joyful and expectant a mood. I have an
appointment with Spring. She comes to the window to wake me, and I go
forth an hour or two earlier than usual. It is by especial favor that
I am waked, not rudely, but gently as infants should be waked.
[End excerpt]


On Sat, Aug 13, 2016 at 9:59 AM, Stephen Goranson <goranson at duke.edu> wrote:
> I heard some version of this story some time ago and looked for it. The earliest I found was from July, 1939. That's a considerable gap, given that Santayana left teaching at Harvard in 1912. On the other hand, the named tradent, Joseph Auslander (1897-1965), was a poet, the first Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress (1939-1941), a correspondent with Santayana, and a graduate of Harvard College.
> Reader's Digest, July, 1939, "Personal Glimpses." p. 40, col. 1:
> "In the many years that he taught philosophy at Harvard, George Santayana held his classes spellbound with the beauty of his speech. He was an ambulatory lecturer, wandering about the room and using pauses in his stride to punctuate his speaking. Joseph Auslander, then at Harvard, told me of one beautiful spring morning, when in the course of his lecture Santayana went often to the window and looked out at the disturbing yellow of a hedge of forsythia. Finally he paused for a long tome, longer than ever before, while the class in the big lecture hall sat with pencils poised to take down his next words. At last he turned to the class and said: 'Gentlemen, I very much fear that last sentence will never be completed. You see, I have an appointment with April.' And he walked out of the room. He has been keeping his appointment with April ever since for he never lectured regularly again. --Louis K. Anspacher."
> Stephen Goranson
> http://people.duke.edu/~goranson/
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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