Sunday, October 29, 2006

Today is my daughter's 36th birthday. Happy birthday, sweet Jodi! This poem is for you!

In the "olden days", when I was in 6th grade, kids had to learn and recite Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. Apparently, rote memorization and public speaking were an even larger part of educating my mother's generation; she had to learn and recite dozens of poems. It used to drive me nuts to listen to her. Somewhere there is a tape recording of her reciting poems with us kids in the background making fun of her. (We were so bad! )

However, there was one poem I secretly loved to hear, but after my mother died, I couldn't recall the name of it - it was misremembered as "Bright Blue Skies of October", and I never could find it books of poetry. I finally searched keywords "October's Bright Blue" and voilá!

I hear it in my mother's voice...

October's Bright Blue Weather

O sun and skies and clouds of June,
And flowers of June together,
Ye cannot rival for one hour
October's bright blue weather;

When loud the bumblebee makes haste,
Belated, thriftless vagrant,
And goldenrod is dying fast,
And lanes with grapes are fragrant;

When gentians roll their fingers tight
To save them for the morning,
And chestnuts fall from satin burrs
Without a sound of warning;

When on the ground red apples lie
In piles like jewels shining,
And redder still on old stone walls
Are leaves of woodbine twining;

When all the lovely wayside things
Their white-winged seeds are sowing,
And in the fields still green and fair,
Late aftermaths are growing;

When springs run low, and on the brooks,
In idle golden freighting,
Bright leaves sink noiseless in the hush
Of woods, for winter waiting;

When comrades seek sweet country haunts,
By twos and twos together,
And count like misers, hour by hour,
October's bright blue weather.

O sun and skies and flowers of June,
Count all your boasts together,
Love loveth best of all the year
October's bright blue weather.

~ Helen Hunt Jackson 1830-1885


Blogger Lori said...

Great imagery. My favorite poets are Kipling and Frost.
I can easily see why you like this poem. Reading it I could imagine you enjoying a garden like this.

6:52 AM  

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