The poet wrote, "April is the cruelest month." (Okay, it was T.S. Eliot in "The Wasteland.") He hung that tag on the fourth month for "breeding lilacs out of dead land." So if April was so guilty in his eyes for offering promise that would not be lasting, what about August, which presages the defeat of promise? After August comes decay, to be followed by months of cold and dark.
But we're not there yet, and we will endeavor to enjoy the last month of the relatively carefree summer, before many have to return to work, many more return to school, and all have to contend with days getting noticeably shorter. We will revel in the ripeness of the season's fruits - need some tomatoes, anyone? How about a nice melon? Some corn?
We will rejoice in the final rituals of summer. Now that Concerts on the Square are over, it's time for Jazz at Five, the downtown music interlude at the top of State Street. The first concert was last Wednesday, but they continue for the next three Wednesdays.
There are a lot of other summer-ending events. You can track them through the Isthmus Guide. Close to home, we have wrapped up production of the 2009-10 Annual Manual, our 29th. It is at the printer and will be coming your way Aug. 20. Usually associated with the An Man debut is the Madison's Favorites Party. This year it has been recast as the King Street Block Party, presented by Isthmus and sponsored by the Great Dane Pub and Downtown Madison Inc.'s Business Improvement District. That will be happening Aug. 29. See the ads in the classified section for interesting details.
So hope persists, at least through the end of August and the beginning of football season. Then we'll see.