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Life on the Deckle Edge

Poetry Friday - "It's September" by Edgar Guest

Swamp Rabbit Trail, Greenville, SC, in September.


Greetings, Poetry Lovers!  Fall is UPON us!  I'm not ready, but I welcome it nonetheless... my favorite season. 


Last weekend I had the good fortune to gather with some dear writer/illustrator friends in north Georgia at one of their homes.  My friend lives on 30 acres, and their land includes a waterfall!  It was a glorious afternoon, and then a few of us stayed over for a "slumber party"/campout. Another of our friends is a nature author and superb naturalist/tour guide, so we were immersed in edible leaves and so many gorgeous spiderwebs by day, and a romp through the constellations at night.  I still haven't washed my jacket, because it holds that cozy woodsmoke smell. 


Now that we live in the mountains, I've been falling into longer walks and more uphill bits with thoughts of more hiking.  In fact on Thursday, I broke out the hiking boots and my little pack and went for a 5 1/2-mile walk/wee hike around Furman, some of its woodsy trails, and the paved Swamp Rabbit Trail here. I've got my sights on Sunday, but we'll see how it goes. 


Next year, Jeff and I will celebrate our 40th anniversary.  But this Sunday marks 40 years since he proposed, up on Table Rock - a state park which is not far from here at all.  So, a-hiking we will go.  I've been saying we might not do the strenuous straight-up hike - I think that option is 7-plus miles round trip, and the first three are, well, straight up. Sometimes my legs and feet remind me that over the years I've broken a foot, broken an ankle, and torn an Achilles.  (Not to mention an even worse neck/nerves injury that came my way about nine years ago.) 


BUT... I'm not sure I'll be able to resist the challenge.  And I'd love to see the view.  I'm sure my hubby will be just fine with such a hike, and we'll be tricked out with hiking poles we'll be using for the first time.  Me? We'll see!  It's sure to be beautiful, whether we trek lots of miles or just a few. 


To celebrate the autumn equinox this weekend, here's a poem by Edgar Guest, born in England in 1881.  He moved with his family to the U.S. in 1891, where he grew up to become a newspaper writer and a popular columnist and poet.  He died in 1959.  I was a little surprised at the turn at the end of this poem - worthy of a good ponder. 



It's September

by Edgar Albert Guest


It's September, and the orchards are afire with red and gold,
And the nights with dew are heavy, and the morning's sharp with cold;
Now the garden's at its gayest with the salvia blazing red
And the good old-fashioned asters laughing at us from their bed;
Once again in shoes and stockings are the children's little feet,
And the dog now does his snoozing on the bright side of the street.


It's September, and the cornstalks are as high as they will go,
And the red cheeks of the apples everywhere begin to show;
Now the supper's scarcely over ere the darkness settles down
And the moon looms big and yellow at the edges of the town;
Oh, it's good to see the children, when their little prayers are said,
Duck beneath the patchwork covers when they tumble into bed.


It's September, and a calmness and a sweetness seem to fall
Over everything that's living, just as though it hears the call
Of Old Winter, trudging slowly, with his pack of ice and snow,
In the distance over yonder, and it somehow seems as though
Every tiny little blossom wants to look its very best
When the frost shall bite its petals and it droops away to rest.


It's September! It's the fullness and the ripeness of the year;
All the work of earth is finished, or the final tasks are near,
But there is no doleful wailing; every living thing that grows,
For the end that is approaching wears the finest garb it knows.
And I pray that I may proudly hold my head up high and smile
When I come to my September in the golden afterwhile.


*THIS JUST IN*:  Late Friday evening, my mother, Nita Morgan, sent me this text:


LOVED your Poetry Friday post!  Love Edgar Guest!  Love "It's September"... I read it in Senior Assembly (September 1955), relating the beginning of our senior year as our "September" of our high school life.  We could capture the essence of September to carry us through to graduation and blossom with the splendor of Spring or we could let the cold of Winter shrink and shrivel our dreams and ambitions and we would never know what could have been. Somehow this has stayed somewhere in my memory all these years.  It comes forth every once in a while when a word or event triggers it.  Of course, I don't have the poem or my speech memorized, but his is the general idea.  I remember what I was wearing that day. So... you stirred the pot really good today with your post!


Who knew?!  I did not. Grateful to my mom for sharing!


Please visit the amazing Carol at Beyond Literacy Link for this week's Roundup; she is the goddess of marking each passing season with amazing online collections of poetry and art!

Happy Fall, Y'all.

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