Sunday, 30 September 2012

October

News from the Common Ground Country Fair and the rich harvest from a good summer brings me spinning back to New England this morning. - It is October there and everything has changed, the chimneys blow smoke into the salt air and the leaves blow past. It is also October here but the place seems hardly to have noticed. - There is no morning chill, no smell of pumpkin pie, no cold hands digging the potatoes from the damp and frosted morning soil. Yet somehow we can all still feel the October-ness on our sunburned skin. - In the swell of the passion fruit and the bounty of the rice harvest.

Here is Robert Frost's poem October:

O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
To-morrow's wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.
The crows above the forest call;
To-morrow they may form and go.
O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow,
Make the day seem to us less brief.
Hearts not averse to being beguiled,
Beguile us in the way you know;
Release one leaf at break of day;
At noon release another leaf;
One from our trees, one far away;
Retard the sun with gentle mist;
Enchant the land with amethyst.
Slow, slow!
For the grapes' sake, if they were all,
Whose leaves already are burnt with frost,
Whose clustered fruit must else be lost--
For the grapes' sake along the wall.
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