We've all heard the phrase "April showers bring May flowers," but where does the expression come from?
If you ever find yourself facing such a query, I highly recommend that you pick up your favorite Dictionary of Proverbs or Book of Quotations. The St. Tammany Parish Library has several to chose from. I checked in The Yale Book of Quotations, A Dictionary of American Proverbs, and Cassell's Dictionary of Proverbs, which all had slightly different answers to the origins of the saying:
One of the earliest appearances is in Thomas Tusser's 1557 book, Five Hundred Points of Good Husbandryopens a new window. Then again in 1670 in John Ray's English Proverbsopens a new window.
This piece of horticultural wisdom, therefore, dates at least to the sixteenth century or earlier. Some see evidence of it in Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales:
Whan that Aprill, with his shoures soote
The droghte of March hath perced to the roote
And bathed every veyne in swich licour,
Of which vertu engendred is the flour;
Wherever it comes from, the saying has become an everyday part of our lexicon, and has inspired this month's display at the Mandeville Branch. All of the titles have a little precipitation of their own. For a preview check out one of the titles below: