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Saturday, September 23, 2006


The Seasons: Fall 2006

Goodbye Summer

Another summer is behind us. For many of us the change of seasons means different things, often depending on where we live, where we grew up. Perhaps summer is missed more by those who live in harsh climes. Thoughts of long winters can dampen the spirits.

John Donne wrote about the "fear that summer will be short" . A few days back, during dinner at a friend's house the guests talked of the fleeting summer. No doubt next year -- next summer -- we'll feel the same way.

I was fortunate to spend my childhood in a place where autumn and the cold weather were welcome. It meant the beginning of cricket season and the end of football (soccer) among other things. Now a resident of the San Francisco Bay area, I enjoy fall almost as much as I enjoy the warm months. A December morning can be wonderfully bracing -- sunny, and the sky a lovely shade of azure.

©Ian Britton, FreeFoto.com

A selection of poems and haikus about autumn and the end of summer

Summer afternoon - summer afternoon; to me those have always
been the two most beautiful words in the English language.

--Henry James

Our fear of death is like our fear that summer will be short,
but when we have had our swing of pleasure, our fill of fruit,
and our swelter of heat, we say we have had our day.

- John Donne, 1620

Sorrow and scarlet leaf,
Sad thoughts and sunny weather.
Ah me, this glory and this grief
Agree not well together!

- Thomas Parsons, 1880, A Song For September

Try to remember the kind of September
When life was slow and oh so mellow
Try to remember the kind of September
When grass was green and grain so yellow
Try to remember the kind of September
When you were a young and a callow fellow
Try to remember and if you remember
Then follow--follow, oh-oh

- Try to Remember, Lyrics by Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt

Source: http://www.egreenway.com/months/monsep.htm

Maple leaves dangle.
Morning sun through the window.
My eyes are heavy.


Frost on cold panes--rock candy
windows reflect messy red noses.
We laugh together.

--Christopher Jones

© http://www.dce.harvard.edu/pubs/charles/2000/fall/cjones.html


Red, green, yellow, gold

Drifting slowly to the ground

Wind blowing them down.

--Erin, Grade 4,Farmingville School

Source: http://www.ridgefield.org/farmingville/index.htm

sweet as a late marriage
a few blossoms in fall
the tattered crabapple

--Erin Noteboom


And my favorites:

A traveler--
Let my name be thus known--
This autumnal shower.


The winds that blow--
Ask them, which leaf of the tree
Will be next to go !

--Soseki (translated by Harold Henderson)

Finally, one by Seamus Heany. It has nothing to do with autumn. It evokes memories that linger.


A rowan like a lipsticked girl.
Between the by-road and the main road
Alder trees at a wet and dripping distance
Stand off among the rushes.

There are the mud-flowers of dialect
And the immortelles of perfect pitch
And that moment when the bird sings very close
To the music of what happens.

Seamus Heaney

Source: http://www.poemhunter.com/p/m/poem.asp?poet=6714&poem=31250


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