“I dig old books.” ™
Welcome to my page of quotations about spring fever, in both its meanings — the invigoration and restlessness that we tend to know it as today, as well as some quotes from when it was an actual disease. Lack of fresh vegetables and vitamin C in the winter could lead to scurvy by springtime which caused unpleasant physical symptoms along with fatigue. So whether you're looking for descriptions of the excitement, increase in energy, and lift in mood, or the decreased health, lethargy, and depression, you've come to the right place. May you enjoy — or recover from — your spring fever!
Late March is a time of waiting, and by now the fabric of human patience has worn a little thin... We want the world to get on with the basic business of spring, without having to keep looking over its shoulder ready to face another interruption from the bedraggled forces of winter. We want to hear robins and orioles singing, not jays and crows jeering. We want to see violets, not snowdrops. So we wait, impatient, and the seasons take their own time... We want to hear spring peepers and see the green haze spreading through the treetops, and we are weary of waiting. And if we seem to be captiously impatient, that is a hopeful sign. Such peevishness is an early but dependable symptom of spring fever. ~Hal Borland, "Waiting," March 1965
April is promises and tentative beginnings, but May is achievement. May is dawn shimmering with dew and sunrise on lawn and meadow, dancing with young leaves in every woodland, jubilant with birdsong in every treetop. May is dogtooth violets beside brimming brooks, the first buttercups beyond the pasture fence, purple violets everywhere. May is apple blossoms and lilacs... May's sunny days still invite spring fever and the heart is still tempted by May's air of young ecstasy. May is full of gaiety and laughter. ~Hal Borland, "May," April 1962
Of all kinds of fever, contagious or non-contagious, only slightly serious or serious to the nth degree, not one is so well known or so much talked of as the one called spring fever. The school boy or girl finds it well nigh impossible to resist the temptation to play hookey. In the case of nearly every woman, it is known as the spring cleaning fever. The first warm days of spring cause it to break out, and the ones affected are governed by an almost uncontrollable desire to get to work at housecleaning. The fever rages so fiercely that no matter how scrupulous she may have been on the subject of cleaning all during the winter months, still she cannot be satisfied until she opens the whole house to the spring air and sunshine. After the cleaning is done the fever cools off and dies out, leaving the world a much more wholesome and livable place. ~“Spring Fever,” St. Mary's Chimes, May 1921 [a little altered
There's an illness that has been documented by poets for centuries. Its symptoms include a flushed face, increased heart rate, appetite loss, restlessness and daydreaming. It's spring fever, that wonderfully amorphous disease we all recognize come April and May. ~Christie Nicholson, "Fact or Fiction?: 'Spring Fever' Is a Real Phenomenon," ScientificAmerican.com, 2007
According to the latest authorities spring fever, the cause of so much loss of energy, can be prevented by homemakers if they will feed their families in the winter season with plenty of green vegetables. ~Richard Gay Neville, M.D., "Spring Fever," The Forecast, 1921
And what is spring fever? Why, when all other animate things are actually springing into new life and expressing themselves with appropriate joy, should man languish and lament the caresses of the climbing sun? Why, when all other life revels in the out-of-doors, should man seek out the poison-laden air and darkened confines of the house of drugs, and carry thence with him a package of "spring medicine"? Spring seems the finest of tonics, and even of stimulants, to other life; why should man need to counteract its influence with nauseous concoctions? ~James Frederick Rogers, M.D., "Spring Fever," in Life & Health, April 1913
The best cure for spring fever is to loaf in the sun or go fishing. It is Nature's divine intimation to halt for a few moments and watch how she Does Things. In one sense, spring fever is a penalty of civilization. To our savage as well as our animal ancestors, spring was a time of awakening from the winter's torpor, a time of throbbing pulse, of eager running hither and thither, of combat and mating and rioting. It was the real New Year, and should be ours instead of that pale, frost-bitten shadow of a shade which the almanacs have deluded us into anæmically celebrating in midwinter.
But now, with Puritan perversity, civilized man celebrates the real glad birth of the New Year in April with spring medicines and spring cleanings and the bankruptcies and heartburnings of Easter bonnets. And when, instead of caroling with the birds and gamboling with the young lambs and reveling in the young green of the grass and the scent of the woodland flowers, we feel depressed and headachy and fur-lined and bilious, we say we have spring fever, and proceed to dose ourselves with a "yarb" tea or a blood medicine. It is a slander upon Nature. ~Woods Hutchinson, A.M., M.D. (1862–1930), "Spring Fever and Spring Cleaning," Civilization and Health, 1914