Wednesday, October 25 “ . . . Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.”
One of the list’s readers responded to Monday’s post, an all-time favorite from Gerard Manley Hopkins who pretty regularly knocks me flat with wonder. The email contained John Keats’ early 19th century romantic poem without comment. But he reminded me, list readers often do, of a poet I had not noticed for a while. No scolding either, as in “how can you have overlooked Keats’ “To Autumn”! Keats worked on my imagination since the email landed. I’m in his debt. I bet you will be too; a near perfect read for day three of mid-autumn bluster and rain. More than most, I think you will find reading this out loud will capture your imagination.
This Friday will be filled with the university’s October board meeting. Back on Monday.
Have a blest weekend.
Today’s Post “To Autumn” John Keats
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.
31 October 1795 – 23 February 1821