The sub-heading is the first line of the poem To Autumn by John Keats. The full poem closes today’s post.
Old habits from England die hard. My way of explaining my reticence to adopt a whole panoply of American words including Fall. Of course, it’s the perfect word to describe this time of the year but, nonetheless, Autumn feels like its ‘hard-wired’ into my personal vocabulary.
With the Summer heat behind us, the task-list for jobs to be done outside can no longer be fudged by “it’s too hot to work outside just now” excuse!
Frankly, the weather at the moment is so beautiful that it’s a privelege to be out in the open; to be enveloped by Nature.
One job that we have been engaged in is installing a couple of raised vegetable beds on the flat area that used to be a tennis court. We had the asphalt base torn up a few months back. Yesterday, saw the first of the two beds filled ready for a crop of Winter vegetables to be planted in the coming weeks.
So many wild creatures, large and small, are storing up their body reserves for the long Winter months. Our neighbours, Dordie and Bill, regularly feed the wild deer and we have joined in as well. It’s fascinating to see how quickly they work out that we are not going to harm them. The picture below shows a young deer that allowed me to jump off the tractor, go indoors to find my camera, and return to snap the gorgeous, pretty creature.
There’s been a couple of posts that I want to refer to because they underline the fact that humans are so prone to forgetting that we are of the wild, from the wild and connected to the wild. That’s for tomorrow.
Thus will close today with a recent Autumnal picture of the early-morning mists across our open grass area.
So to that John Keats poem:
John Keats (1820)
Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
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 poppies, 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.
George Crabbe combined three careers: doctor, minister, and writer. Born in Aldeburgh, a fishing village in Suffolk, he served his apprenticeship to an apothecary, and then set up as a surgeon-apothecary in 1775. He abandoned this career four years later and went to London to earn his living as a writer. In 1782 he was ordained priest and became chaplain to the Duke of Rutland. He held several livings thereafter, and finally in 1814 became rector of Trowbridge, Wiltshire, where he spent the rest of his life.
Crabbe’s long literary career divides into two parts: the poems, — notably ‘The Village‘ (1783), published during or shortly after his early stay in London; and the long series of works beginning with ‘Poems‘ (1807), which includes ‘The Parish Register‘ and ‘Sir Eustace Grey‘;’The Borough‘ (1810), ‘Tales in Verse‘ (1812), ‘Tales of the Hall‘ (1819), and the inferior ‘Posthumous Tales‘ (1834). This series shows Crabbe moving from static description and portrait toward narrative, until he achieves something which approaches a group of linked short stories in verse. His work, in its low-keyed, realistic, unsentimental picture of rural life, represents less the last gasp of eighteenth-century poetry than a reaction to it different in direction from Wordsworth’s. It is indicative of the kind of work Crabbe produced that Thomas Hardy admired and was influenced by him.
He was born in Aldeburgh, Suffolk, the son of a tax collector, and developed his love of poetry as a child. In 1768, he was apprenticed to a local doctor, who taught him little, and in 1771 he changed masters and moved to Woodbridge. There he met his future wife, Sarah Elmy, who accepted his proposal and had the faith and patience not only to wait for Crabbe but to encourage his verse writing. His first major work, a poem entitled “Inebriety”, was self-published in 1775. By this time he had completed his medical training, and had decided to take up writing seriously. In 1780, he went to London, where he had little success, but eventually made an impression on Edmund Burke, who helped him have his poem, The Library, published in 1781. In the meantime, Crabbe’s religious nature had made itself felt, and he was ordained a clergyman and became chaplain to the Duke of Rutland at Belvoir Castle in Leicestershire.
The two works for which Crabbe became best known were The Village (1783) and The Borough (1810), both lengthy poems dealing with the way of life he had experienced. In 1783, he also married Sarah. In 1814, he became Rector of Trowbridge in Wiltshire, where he remained. By the time of his death, he was well regarded and a friend of William Wordsworth, Sir Walter Scott and other major literary figures of the time.
That is the ability to feel in our hearts and souls what unconditional love really is. Both the giving and receiving of that unconditional love.
As regular readers know there has been a number of articles on Learning from Dogs in recent times about the relationship that we humans have with this genetic off-shoot of wolves with an origin literally in the mists of time. So it is an honour to share with you all, a poem about a very special dog, written by the grandniece of a good friend of ours here in Payson.
That grandniece is Meg and her dog’s name is Siku. Here is Meg’s love poem.
My best friend in the whole world is Siku.
Siku is a smelly, thick-fur, cute type of dog.
Siku has a wet nose, round eyes and pointy ears like shark teeth.
She is a happy-go-lucky free-minded smart dog and I am so lucky to have her in my life.
She also is a fun-funny, hip-happy type of dog.
Siku is a run-running, camp-camping, playing games type of dog.
Siku loves to train with me, go sledding with me, and she loves to catch the squirrels and torture our poor little stressed-out cats.
When I am with Siku I feel like the whole world loves me.
On the 28th January, Learning from Dogs posted the second of two articles about Planet Earth. The first one was here and the second here. That second piece attracted a lovely comment from Sue of SueDreamwalker. What follows from this point is all Sue’s work.
A very Good Post Paul.
I thought I might share a Poem of mine about Earth I was inspired to write this in 1995, long before we got the weather we are experiencing today… Appologies for its length..
I agree we need to respect… for we are along longs ways from Space hopping..
Earth gave her body; she gave it us to share
Her breath once sweet now pollutes the air
Her waterways of veins once were crystal clear
Now they hold our garbage lifeless pools and mires
Earth gave her body; she gave it us to share
She gave us animals for pleasure and yes for food
Not to be hunted to extinction penned up and abused
She gave us her Forests for shelter and for fuel
Not for mass developments using greed for cutting tools
Earth gave us her body; she gave it us to share
The soil she gave for harvest of plants that now are rare
For medicine and minerals, silver bronze and gold
Her treasure chests of beauty, we’ve pillaged raped and sold
Earth gave us her body; she gave it us to share
Now her tears are falling, can’t you see her pain?
The bombs that we are testing, fall out, Floods- the Rain.
Wars between each Nation, like stabbings in her back
Earthquakes——- Thunder, Lightning,
She’s Crying with each Crack..
“Enough” she cries “Enough”, as Planet Earth disrupts
Her breaking heart that Bleeds, Volcanoes then Erupts
Her breath now rages Anger, Tornadoes swirl revenge
Beware the Human Race, Planet Earth could still avenge
Earth gave her body she gave it us to share
The beauty is all around us, forever standing there
Let’s not take her for granted, for some day she will rebel
Treat her with some kindness, our fellow man as well.
Earth gave her body, she gives us Life
Let’s stop all our hating, stop the greed and strife
Earth gave us a garden, she gives us love
Love is the only answer, we are told so from above
Earth gave her body, Give her your respect
For she might rebel, turn her back sooner than you’d expect
So help her through her Torment, Heal her wounded sores,
We can start by healing each other around her windy shores
Love her and those upon her, take away her tears,
Her Promise in return,
Rebirth the “ Golden Years!”