Tuesday, October 6, 2009

To Autumn : With Love

Autumn Moon by Ansel Adams
A crispness has crept into the October air and fall is officially here. Welcome cool evenings, recession-fueled window shopping for tights and scarves, steaming hot tea and harvest-themed get-togethers. Au revoir iced coffees, sticky sunburned shoulders, island-scented sprays and those songs of spring. All around me, I feel a collective sigh of relief, a muffled rush to rapture as the south land gently coaxes the season's languid turnover. Somewhere deep in the human framework, autumn signals bounty, the sweet-cleansed air cooling a rife and ready harvest. John Keats captures the ripening of summer days into fall as the "close bosom-friend of the maturing sun." What a beautiful way to picture the days unfolding - perhaps more softly, more assuredly, more abundantly than the days we've survived before them.

SEASON of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruits the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind
Or on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep,
Drows'd with the fume of pop[pies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.

Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too, -
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.
- To Autumn by John Keats, 1819

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