Poems of October... Poems of Fall

Reply Sat 18 Oct, 2003 09:01 am
Thanks, Diane!

Here's an image of autumn excerpted from Byron:

Don Juan
(canto XIII, st. 75)

The mellow autumn came, and with it came
The promised party, to enjoy its sweets.
The corn is cut, the manor full of game;
The pointer ranges, and the sportsman beats
In russet jacket;--lynx-like is his aim;
Full grows his bag, and wonderful his feats.
An, nutbrown partridges! An, brilliant pheasants!
And ah, ye poachers!--'Tis no sport for peasants.

- Lord Byron

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Reply Sun 19 Oct, 2003 01:48 pm
Poems of October
Here's a good one for Halloween - not just the usual witches and broomsticks.



Nymph, nymph, what are your beads?
Green glass, goblin. Why do you stare at them?
Give them me.
Give them me. Give them me.
Then I will howl all night in the reeds,
Lie in the mud and howl for them.
Goblin, why do you love them so?
They are better than stars or water,
Better than voices of winds that sing,
Better than any man's fair daughter,
Your green glass beads on a silver ring.
Hush, I stole them out of the moon.
I will howl in a deep lagoon
For your green glass beads, I love them so.
Give them me. Give them.

I have to check to see if this Harold Munro is the same H H Munro who wrote "Saki".
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Reply Tue 21 Oct, 2003 08:20 am
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was my first introduction to poets. Here is the first half (the better half) of one of his poems that seems made for the season:


All houses wherein men have lived and died
Are haunted houses. Through the open doors
The harmless phantoms on their errands glide,
With feet that make no sound upon the floors.

We meet them at the door-way, on the stair,
Along the passages they come and go,
Impalpable impressions on the air,
A sense of something moving to and fro.

There are more guests at table, than the hosts
Invited; the illuminated hall
Is thronged with quiet, inoffensive ghosts,
As silent as the pictures on the wall.

The stranger at my fireside cannot see
The forms I see, nor hear the sounds I hear;
He but perceives what is; while unto me
All that has been is visible and clear.

We have no title-deeds to house or lands;
Owners and occupants of earlier dates
From graves forgotten stretch their dusty hands,
And hold in mortmain still their old estates.

The spirit-world around this world of sense
Floats like an atmosphere, and everywhere
Wafts through these earthly mists and vapors dense
A vital breath of more ethereal air.
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Reply Tue 21 Oct, 2003 08:23 am
And here is another by Longfellow, surprisingly short and a little depressing towards the end... just like autumn!


When the summer fields are mown,
When the birds are fledged and flown,
And the dry leaves strew the path;
With the falling of the snow,
With the cawing of the crow,
Once again the fields we mow
And gather in the aftermath.

Not the sweet, new grass with flowers
Is this harvesting of ours;
Not the upland clover bloom;
But the rowen mixed with weeds,
Tangled tufts from marsh and meads,
Where the poppy drops its seeds
In the silence and the gloom.
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the prince
Reply Tue 21 Oct, 2003 08:25 am
I really don't like Autumn
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Reply Tue 21 Oct, 2003 08:32 am
Haha. I'm hating it too. My little state is flooded by falling rain.
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Reply Tue 21 Oct, 2003 08:52 am
I don't know why he didn't call this a lament...

A Song of Autumn

MY WIND is turned to bitter north,
That was so soft a south before;
My sky, that shone so sunny bright,
With foggy gloom is clouded o'er
My gay green leaves are yellow-black,
Upon the dank autumnal floor;
For love, departed once, comes back
No more again, no more.

A roofless ruin lies my home,
For winds to blow and rains to pour;
One frosty night befell, and lo,
I find my summer days are o'er:
The heart bereaved, of why and how
Unknowing, knows that yet before
It had what e'en to Memory now
Returns no more, no more.

Arthur Hugh Clough
1819 - 1861
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the prince
Reply Tue 21 Oct, 2003 09:00 am
Memories of summer,
like leaves

The colors of nature,
like a bully

No salvation
Its winter

Trees and souls
in gelid wind,

Nature appears,
depived of aegis
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Reply Tue 21 Oct, 2003 09:52 am
Beautiful, Gautam.
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Reply Tue 21 Oct, 2003 08:35 pm
From this week's issue of The New Yorker:

The Hunkering

In October the red leaves going brown heap and scatter
over hayfield and dirt road, over garden and circular driveway,

and rise in a curl of wind dishevelled as schoolchildren
at recess, school just starting and summer done, winter's

white quiet beginning in ice on the windshield, in hard frost
that only blue asters survive, and in the long houses that once

more tighten themselves for darkness and hunker down.

---Donald Hall
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Reply Tue 21 Oct, 2003 09:21 pm
Bree, I saw that and loved it.
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the prince
Reply Wed 22 Oct, 2003 02:25 am
Thanks Diane !!
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Reply Wed 22 Oct, 2003 08:48 am
Hunkering... I love that word, love the poem, too. Thanks, Bree! That image of the blue asters will stay with me awhile.

Gautam! Lovely... and you say you don't like fall! It inspires you to such excellent images!

Here's another one from Mr. Autumn (I don't know why, but Robert Frost is heavily associated with this season in my poor little mind.) This is to go with the previous poem by Longfellow.

Ghost House

I dwell in a lonely house I know
That vanished many a summer ago,
And left no trace but the cellar walls,
And a cellar in which the daylight falls,
And the purple-stemmed wild raspberries grow.

O'er ruined fences the grape-vines shield
The woods come back to the mowing field;
The orchard tree has grown one copse
Of new wood and old where the woodpecker chops;
The footpath down to the well is healed.

I dwell with a strangely aching heart
In that vanished abode there far apart
On that disused and forgotten road
That has no dust-bath now for the toad.
Night comes; the black bats tumble and dart;

The whippoorwill is coming to shout
And hush and cluck and flutter about:
I hear him begin far enough away
Full many a time to say his say
Before he arrives to say it out.

It is under the small, dim, summer star.
I know not who these mute folk are
Who share the unlit place with me--
Those stones out under the low-limbed tree
Doubtless bear names that the mosses mar.

They are tireless folk, but slow and sad,
Though two, close-keeping, are lass and lad,--
With none among them that ever sings,
And yet, in view of how many things,
As sweet companions as might be had.
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the prince
Reply Wed 22 Oct, 2003 08:53 am
Thanks piffka !! But those images are DEPRESSING !!!
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Reply Wed 22 Oct, 2003 08:55 am

Something told the wild geese
It was time to go.
Though the fields lay golden
Something whispered, --"Snow."

Leaves were gree and stirring,
Berries, luster-glossed,
But beneath warm feathers
Something cautioned, --"Frost."

All the sagging orchards
Steamed with amber spice,
But each wild breast stiffened
At remembered ice.

Something told the wild geese
It was time to fly, --
Summer sun was on their wings,
Winter in their cry.

Rachel Field

Thanks to TomKitten for this poem and a few others. Very Happy
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Reply Wed 22 Oct, 2003 09:01 am
Gautam wrote:
Thanks piffka !! But those images are DEPRESSING !!!

Laughing Hey,G! But that's what fall is about, right? It's not all summer and fun... there are falling leaves, fading lives, shivering, lost support, cold miserable, icky wet weather...(waaaaaaaaaah)

We canna have the harvest wit'ut cuttin' down the plants.
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Reply Wed 22 Oct, 2003 09:26 am
Poems of October
Thanks, Piffka, for the credit.

I've just started searching for a collection of Rachel Field's poems, but the only one in existence is very short only 118 pagesw, including illustrations, so I doubt it contains all of them. Fortunately, much of her work does appear in anthologies. But Something Told the Wild Geese is definitely one of my favorites.
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Reply Wed 22 Oct, 2003 09:40 am
Poems for October
Spring is a terrific season, but around here we have Spring for about a week. Summer is short and much too hot. Winter - well, the less said about New England winters, the better.

BUT for painting, I think Fall is the best season. The colors, shades of brown and gray, tree trunks nearly black, are subtle and secret. The colors of spring and summer are gorgeous, but sometimes too much in-your-face. If one wants bright colors, the turning leaves framed against a steel-grey-blue make a terrific picture.

So, taking it all in all, Autumn is it, for me.
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Reply Thu 23 Oct, 2003 11:35 am
Fall may be in the air, as Piffka said, when she started this thread - but around here, SNOW is on the ground!

Pretty its may be, but who needs it this early,? Rolling Eyes
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Reply Thu 23 Oct, 2003 07:20 pm
Early snow, TK! I love snow... as long as it melts quickly. We had a gorgeous Indian Summer day here after 3 days and 8 inches of rain.

Mr. Autumn again...


My Sorrow, when she's here with me,
Thinks these dark days of autumn rain
Are beautiful as days can be;
She loves the bare, the withered tree;
She walks the sodden pasture lane.

Her pleasure will not let me stay.
She talks and I am fain to list:
She's glad the birds are gone away,
She's glad her simple worsted grey
Is silver now with clinging mist.

The desolate, deserted trees,
The faded earth, the heavy sky,
The beauties she so truly sees,
She thinks I have no eye for these,
And vexes me for reason why.

Not yesterday I learned to know
The love of bare November days
Before the coming of the snow,
But it were vain to tell her so,
And they are better for her praise.

~~ Robert Frost ~~
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