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Hello, Everyone! It’s Merril hosting today’s Haibun Monday. Can you believe it’s already March? Well, the calendar says it is, and here the days are growing longer, and flowers are trying to pop up through the ground, even if there’s snow.

In the U.S., there’s something called March Madness. I’m SO not into sports that I had to doublecheck to make certain it’s about basketball. I guess it’s a big deal. Ho hum. BUT, sorry sports fans, that’s not what I want to talk about. I want to talk about spring and nature. Last year, March entered with snow storms, but daffodils were blooming at the end, and it looks like it’s happening again. What madness!

In the spring, whenever it finally arrives, trees bud, flowers bloom, the songbirds return, and even animals become a bit mad—like hares in March apparently. The March Hare is a famous character in Alice in Wonderland, along with the Mad Hatter. Mad as a hatter was a term that predated Carroll. It may have come about as hatters used mercury nitrate in the process of turning fur into felt, and they often suffered both physical ailments and mental problems as a result of mercury poisoning, though it could have evolved from older phrases, such as “mad as a March hare.”

“Alice waited a little, half expecting to see it again, but it did not appear, and after a minute or two she walked on in the direction in which the March Hare was said to live. “I’ve seen hatters before,” she said to herself: “the March Hare will be much the most interesting, and perhaps, as this is May, it won’t be raving mad – at least not so mad as it was in March.”

Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland, Chapter 6.

Madness can mean insanity or anger. Poets, of course, have written about both. William Blake wrote about madness here, that perhaps is caused by nature and the seasons.

Emily Dickinson’s lovely poem on March begins with these lines:

“A Light exists in Spring
Not present on the Year
At any other period –
When March is scarcely here”

From Emily Dickinson, “A Light Exists in Spring.” Full poem and analysis here.

Now, I know that for some of you, it is approaching autumn, rather than spring, and some of you may live in climates where there is no spring at all. That’s OK! For this week’s Haibun Monday, I’d like you to write a haibun about March Madness as it pertains to you and your part of the world, whether it’s spring and spring madness OR some other change of season OR perhaps the madness of a March holiday. A haibun is usually no more than three tight paragraphs followed by a traditional haiku that includes a reference to a season. The prose is concise, not an essay.  Here is one source on writing a haibun.

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  • Write a haibun in response to the challenge.
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