Sunday, November 1, 2009

october's end

there it was.
gone!
september's arrival was something
of a surprise.
october's departure
was
not so much surprising
as precipitous!
i've been spending time inside the writing of madison cawein.
so of course
his work shows up here a little more often.
so slow down,
spend some time with me
and let's dive
inside
his words.

i especially love
this piece of his writing
entitled "october".
october
i oft have met her slowly wandering
beside a leafy stream, her locks blown wild,
her cheeks a hectic flush, more fair than spring,
as if on her the sumac copse had smiled.
(feeding the ducks charles edward wilson)
or i have seen her sitting, tall and brown,--
her gentle eyes with foolish weeping dim,--
beneath a twisted oak from whose red leaves
she wound great drowsy wreaths and cast them down;
the west-wind in her hair, that made it swim
far out behind, deep as the rustling sheaves.
or in the hill-lands i have often seen
the marvel of her passage; glimpses faint
of glimmering woods that glanced the hills between,
charles sims ("and the fairies ran away with their clothes")
or i have met her 'twixt two beechen hills,
("a spring morning, loch katrine, the vale of monteith")
within a dingled valley near a fall,
held in her nut-brown hand one cardinal flower;
or wading dimly where the leaf-dammed rills
went babbling through the wildwood's arrased hall,
where burned the beech and maples glared their power.
david bates ("resting beside a river")
or i have met her by some ruined mill,
ernest walbourne ("the old mill")
where trailed the crimson creeper, serpentine,
on fallen leaves that stirred and rustled chill,
where splashed the murmur of the forest's fountains;
with all her loveliness did she beseech,
and all the sorrow of her wildwood charms.
hermann ottomar herzog ("girl with geese")
once only in a hollow, girt with trees,
a-dream amid wild asters filled with rain,
i glimpsed her cheeks red-berried by the breeze,
in her dark eyes the night's sidereal stain.
and once upon an orchard's tangled path,
where all the golden-rod had turned to brown,
where russets rolled and leaves were sweet of breath,
i have beheld her 'mid her aftermath
of blossoms standing, in her gypsy gown,
within her gaze the deeps of life and death.
madison cawein

25 comments:

Alaine said...

How very beautiful, all of it, everyone masters; mainly you, putting it all together. I loved it.

Goldenrod said...

Steven, I'm having just an awful time reading your posts ... ... have been having this problem for quite some time now, ever since you changed to a black (or very dark gray) background with writing that simply is too close in tone (particularly the shade you chose for "About Me") with it for my tired eyes to try and pick out. The strain is too much. I don't mean to ignore your wonderful posts. I just wanted you to know the main reason why I haven't left many comments. Is no one else having this problem, or is it just ancient me?

Linda said...

The October poem of Madison Cawein has wonderful descriptions of our autumn pallet as the foliage looses the last of the vivid colours. The berries are left, the pine cones and nuts to gather for wreaths. A wreath is like a promise that the circle of life continues, that life doesn't all die as autumn fades away. I loved reading her poem this morning. Thank you for slowing me down for a quiet reflection this morning, Steven.

Jennifer said...

I appreciate that you bring these poets and artists to us, in that I get the opportunity to read and see something I would not likely have otherwise. I looked up (more accuraate to say "Googled?")Madison Cawein. I read that he was a nature loving poet from Kentucky, who died in 1914. Do I have the right Madison?

MCJ said...

Wonderful blogs Steven!

Thank you,

~MCJ ~

steven said...

hello alaine - its amazing that we can share what matters to us and find that it matters to people very far away as well as those sitting right next door!!!! have a lovely spring day alaine. steven

steven said...

hello goldenrod, hmmmm. i haven't had any concerns about that before - quite the opposite. but i have readers who read comments and comment on the comments so i'll open it up - if anyone else is finding this blog difficult to read, then please let me know and i'll certainly make it easier to read. thanks for the heads up goldenrod. steven

steven said...

hello linda - i love writers who can bring all the tiny details of what we see or know into text and build pictures inside my head. i love that!!! it compels me to see differently and then also to - as you say - slow down. thanks for your generous comment. steven

steven said...

jennifer - your comment made me laugh because i went back to my post and i'm guessing that because i was trying to see this poem through the world of a woman's experiencing i included images of women. to cap it all off, i unconsciously gave madison a gender change!!!! that's the inherent challenge of writing late at night or early in the morning!!! it is madison who lived in kentucky yes!!!!! have a lovely day jenn. steven

steven said...

hello mcj!! thankyou very much. i love this piece of my life - sharing thoughts, understanding, photographs, paintings, writing - mine and others - and especially meeting the amazing cool people who share in these experiences. have a peaceful day. steven

The Weaver of Grass said...

I don't know this man's woman's?) work at all but it is lovely steven and you have chosen lovely pictures to go with the words. The pictures remind me of the work of Miles Burkitt Foster - do you know his paintings?

staceyjwarner said...

wonderful to be brought such great words and art...

thank you steven.

much love

p.s. ask me mondays is coming up so if you have a question you want to ask me (nothing is taboo)...please do

staceyjwarner said...

wonderful to be brought such great words and art...

thank you steven.

much love

p.s. ask me mondays is coming up so if you have a question you want to ask me (nothing is taboo)...please do

Bee said...

That last picture looks so much like our October: lots of golden colors. Now the landscape will grow increasingly brown and gray; as the poem suggests, October is one of those transitional times.

Do you know what the word "dingled" means?

Elizabeth said...

LOVED YOUR POST
This personification of the season is such a charming conceit.
Do you think modern children know about things like that?
would it make a super lesson plan?
they could write or draw a picture.
I thin I have to go back to teaching.

steven said...

hello bee!!! lovely to see you here . . . lots of comments for me to reply to from you so i'll start here and work my way backwards through "time"! much of our landscape has changed from yellows to browns. the trees are almost entirely bare. but there's so much beauty still..... i went on two longish bike rides this weekend and gathered up a lovely little pile of photographs that i'll spread over the next little while.
"dingled" the urban dictionary has an interesting entry on dingled: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=dingled but i think its one of those quaint rural words that has sadly slipped into misuse..... steven

steven said...

hi weaver - madison's a man!! i don't know foster's work and i can't find anything on the net . . . . but that means nothing. thanks for pointing me in his direction all the same. have a lovely day in the dale. steven

steven said...

hello stacey j warner! thanks for your kind comment and for the heads-up about ask me monday!!!! have a peaceful day. steven

steven said...

hello elizabeth - in my own experience that whole piece has fallen by the wayside. personification is still taught . . . the seasons are still big in primary - in writing, reading and in art. thank goodness for that. children of all ages need that contact with the natural world - of which they are such an integral part. have a lovely nyc day. steven

√ Abraham Lincoln said...

I have had some criticism on colors used and changed them but not so much to notice the difference. The blue and the gray have the same tonal quality and for some people that would be hard to read unless they had strong light or their monitor was turned up brighter.

I remember in 2005 on one of my blogs somebody complained about not being able to read it so I switched to the most easily read colors there are. Yellow on black or black on yellow. I kept it bright yellow background and jet black type. People loved it but then in time some complained the colors were hurting their eyes.

I like your color combination.

Golden West said...

What a feast for the eyes, Steven - you assembled a delicious banquet for a taste of autumn.

steven said...

golden west - the big show is almost over in terms of autumn for us here in southern ontario. but the little shows, the ones nearer the ground are still very much there. i'm seeing things with very wide-open eyes thanks to my commitment to this blog. thanks for all your lovely comments. they are really inspiring!!!! steven

steven said...

hi abe - thanks for that!!! i have no big problem changing colours for people . . . it's not nice when you have trouble reading. it's such a gift after all. i'll wait and see if anyone else has concerns before i change it around though. i like that shot of you hoovering back a mug of (joe?) steven

Reya Mellicker said...

Wow. I never thought of October as a she, but this pretty well nails it down, doesn't it?

Beautiful! I did slow down and took it all in. xx

steven said...

hey reya - october is a slowing down month . . . down to womanspeed . . .down to appreciating change (which women in my own experience carry through as a deep knowing of cycles on all levels) and the transience of surface beauty and how really it doesn't matter in the end because it's the wholeness of it all that you're left with right!!! steven