We have to ask: how come this widow spends all her time talking about grass and trees and flowers? Shouldn't she be talking about her dearly departed darling? Well, as it turns out, "The Widow's Lament in Springtime" is all about our speaker's husband's death. It's just that her grief is in disguise. In this poem, we can tell exactly how much pain this woman is in, based on her descriptions of the natural world around her. How she relates to nature tells us how she is coping with her husband's passing. And she's not coping well.
Our speaker is just projecting her inner emotions on the outside world. She resents nature, because nature keeps on going while her husband has died.
Nature is the solution to this woman's sorrow, not the cause of it. While she resents nature for continuing to bloom while she withers away in grief, if she would only get outside and "fall into those flowers," she might be happy again.
Even though her son is still around, the widow in "The Widow's Lament in Springtime" is all alone. She has lost her husband of thirty-five years. And with that, her strong connection to the natural world seems to have disappeared, too. Anything and everything that once brought her joy has up and left her. Dear widow, Shmoop recommends belting out a little Eric Carmen to ease the pain.
Our speaker's unwillingness to face the loss of her husband (as seen in her avoidance of the issue in the poem) has forced her into isolation from the world.
The natural world isolates our speaker because she now views it in a different way than anyone else views it.
It's not exactly a surprise that a poem that calls itself a "Lament" and has "Sorrow" as its first word deals with sadness. The force of our speaker's sadness, the ways it acts on her, is what "The Widow's Lament in Springtime" is all about: the cold weight of sorrow, the way it transforms joy into distance, and how it isolates the speaker. Need we say more? Nah, we'll stop there. You'll just have to read it to find out.
This speaker is not just sad about her husband. She is also totally bummed that she has lost her connection to the natural world.
The speaker's sorrow comes from the fact that the world around her isn't grieving with her. She's all the sadder because everything else is in bloom.
As soon as we see the word "Widow" in the title, we know that death has knocked in this speaker's door. Beginning with this announcement of the husband's death, and ending with an imagined or longed for death for our speaker, "The Widow's Lament in Springtime" is bookended by the light at the end of the tunnel. In between, well, it's still pretty much all about that, too. Even the renewal of spring has death built into it: in order to have spring, there must be a fall and winter, when death, rather than birth, is the main event.
By relating death to the cycle of seasons and by imagining our speaker's passing as a union with the natural world, the poem suggests that death itself may not be an end but rather a path to rebirth.
Our speaker isn't sad that her husband died, merely that he's not around anymore. She has a death wish at the end of the poem because she's hoping to reunite with her husband in some sort of afterlife.