Friday, September 21, 2012

"Autumn Is Here, It Is"

In accordance with the movements of the heavenly bodies and the tyranny of the calendar, autumn will arrive this weekend.  Now is a good time to take stock.

Perhaps we should think of this time of year as a culmination, not as a descent.  Having said that, I acknowledge that culmination and descent will be just a hair's-breadth away from each other over the next few months -- until the last leaf spins from a bare tree sometime in December.

                                 John Aldridge, "The Pink Farm" (1940)


Fragile, notice that
As autumn starts, a light
Frost crisps up at night
And next day, for a while,
White covers path and lawn.
"Autumn is here, it is,"
Sings the stoical blackbird
But by noon pure gold is tossed
On everything.  Leaves fall
As if they meant to rise.
Nothing of nature's lost,
The birth, the blight of things,
The bud, the stretching wings.

Elizabeth Jennings, Celebrations and Elegies (Carcanet 1982).

                   John Aldridge, "Artichokes and Cathay Quinces" (1967)


Merisi said...

Thank you for this beautiful poem!

Bruce Floyd said...

Dickinson's mighty imagination on that moment, that golden moment, between culmination and descent:

These are the days when Birds come back --
A very few -- a Bird or two --
To take a backward look.

These are the days when skies resume
The old -- old sophistries of June --
A blue and gold mistake.

Oh fraud that cannot cheat the Bee --
Almost thy plausibility
Induces my belief.

Till ranks of seeds their witness bear --
And softly thro' the altered air
Hurries a timid leaf.

Oh Sacrament of summer days,
Oh Last Communion in the Haze --
Permit a child to join.

Thy sacred emblems to partake --
They consecrated bread to take
And thine immortal wine!

Stephen Pentz said...

Merisi: you are welcome. I'm pleased that you like the poem. Thank you for stopping by again.

Stephen Pentz said...

Mr. Floyd: thank you very much for the Dickinson poem. Based upon this, and the other poems by her that you have provided recently, she certainly knew autumn inside and out, didn't she? They are wonderful.

I'm embarrassed to say that I've never really explored Dickinson's poetry. Your contributions have made me realize that I need to remedy that error.

Thank you again.

Bruce Floyd said...

Here's Rilke on an autumn day.

Autumn Day

Lord, it is time. Let the great summer go,
Lay your long shadows on the sundials,
And over harvest piles let the winds blow.

Command the last fruits to be ripe;
Grant them some other southern hour,
Urge them to completion, and with power
Drive final sweetness to the heavy grape.

Who's homeless now, will for long stay alone.
No home will build his weary hands,
He'll wake, read, write letters long to friends
And will the alleys up and down
Walk restlessly, when falling leaves dance.

After the long torpid and scalding summer, are not some of us glad to see the summer go, to see the long shadows fall upon the sundials at garden entrances, the wind sifting through the heavy grapes in their final sweetness? What augury sighs there?

Merisi said...

I shared the poem with
Vicki Lane - she published such beautiful autumn images this morning. Thank you again for sharing it with us!

@ Bruce Floyd:
Thank you for this Emily Dickinson poem! I love her poetry, but don't remember ever reading this one.

lucky you, I can't but imagine that you'll love Emily.
She was very knowledgeable about natural history and such a good observer.

Susara said...

Thank you so much for these poems and the art,which provide such inspiration and comfort and wonder,to lift the days and open doors to another level of living and feeling. I love you!

Stephen Pentz said...

Mr. Floyd: thank you for Rilke's poem. You and I appear to be on similar wavelengths when it comes to autumn: I posted two translations of Rilke's poem on October 20, 2010: one by Stephen Mitchell and one by William Gass. Yours adds a third.

Thanks again!

Stephen Pentz said...

Merisi: thank you for the link to Ms. Lane's blog -- the images are very beautiful.

Yes, I do need to explore Emily Dickinson's poetry -- I have been missing out.

Thank you for stopping by again.

Stephen Pentz said...

Susara: thank you very much for your kind words. I greatly appreciate them.

I am always pleased when visitors like what they find here. Again, thank you.

Guntram Deichsel said...

You post a translatioon of Rilke's poem Herbsttag - Autumn Day - by myself It would be nice if you gave credit ba ydding English: Guntram Deichsel

Greetings from Germany,

Stephen Pentz said...

Mr. Deichsel: actually, I didn't post the translation: a commenter did. Unfortunately, he neglected to point out that the translation that he included in his comment was yours. Thank you for indicating that it was your translation.