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Did you know that this Monday is ‘Blue Monday’? If you’re not sure what that means, 'Blue Monday' is a day which generally falls on the third Monday of the month in January. The term was coined by psychologist, Cliff Arnall, back in 2004, when asked to come up with a scientific formula for the ‘January blues’. Basically, Christmas is over, it’s cold, and it’s dark - so this time of year can make us feel a bit grumpier than usual. Below is a poem that explores that idea…


Amoretti – Edmund Spenser


Oft, when my spirit doth spread her bolder wings,

In mind to mount up to the purest sky;

It down is weighed with thought of earthly things,

And clogged with burden of mortality;

Where, when that sovereign beauty it doth spy,

Resembling heaven’s glory in her light,

Drawn with sweet pleasure’s bait, it back doth fly,

And unto heaven forgets her former flight.

There my frail fancy, fed with full delight,

Doth bathe in bliss, and mantleth most at ease;

Ne thinks of other heaven, but how it might

Her heart’s desire with most contentment please.

Heart need not wish none other happiness,

But here on earth to have such heaven’s bliss.



In summary, Spenser says that when he wishes to think of higher things, his mind is bogged down by thoughts of sadness and mortality; but he comes to the conclusion that the way to ensure happiness is to ‘find heaven among earthly things’. So it’s a poetic way of saying that we should try to find happiness in the little things we have around us!

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