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Life on the Deckle Edge

Poetry Friday - Farewell to Summer with Two Classic September Poems


Greetings, Poetry Lovers!


Here in coastal South Carolina, the days are still warm, but not excessively hot; some leaves are scattered on the ground; and we're still keeping a cautious eye ocean-ward after an unusually quiet start to the hurricane season in our corner of the Atlantic, anyway. (The peak Atlantic season occurs in September and October.)


Our kids in and near the mountains report cooler days of late, and at our Upstate South Carolina house last weekend, the deep green of summer is giving away to early hints of color in the trees. 


Back at the coast, I've been making collages featuring actual postcards of bathing beauties from the early 1900s.  I have some for sale at a local shop here, and I'll be adding some (such as the one pictured above) to my Etsy shop, too.  I guess it's my way of hanging on to summer a wee bit, even as the calendar pages turn themselves to autumn....


Here are a couple of September poems to help me get oriented, and maybe they'll strike your fancy as well. The first even begins with a nod to the sea.





By Joanne Kyger (1934-2017)


The grasses are light brown
and the ocean comes in
long shimmering lines
under the fleet from last night
which dozes now in the early morning 




Enjoy the rest of this rich poem here.  And you can read more about Joanne Kyger's rich life here



And here is a poem published in 1914, a few years after that postcard above was published, as a matter of fact. 




September Midnight

By Sara Teasdale

Lyric night of the lingering Indian Summer,
Shadowy fields that are scentless but full of singing,
Never a bird, but the passionless chant of insects,
Ceaseless, insistent.


The grasshopper's horn, and far-off, high in the maples,
The wheel of a locust leisurely grinding the silence
Under a moon waning and worn, broken,
Tired with summer.


Let me remember you, voices of little insects,
Weeds in the moonlight, fields that are tangled with asters,
Let me remember, soon will the winter be on us,
Snow-hushed and heavy.


Over my soul murmur your mute benediction,
While I gaze, O fields that rest after harvest,
As those who part look long in the eyes they lean to,
Lest they forget them.


Originally published in Poetry, March 1914. You can read more about Sara Teasdale here


Back to the present, hop on over to Australia to enjoy a different season from mine in the Northern Hemisphere, and lots of great poetry - Kat Apel has our Roundup (& a "Katch-up"!).  Thanks, Kat. :0)

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Poetry Friday - September Snippets from The Illuminated Book of Days


Greetings, Poetry Lovers!  

First - my heart breaks and prays for so many in the throes of fires and floods this week. And so many other challenges. Hopes for healing, rebuilding, peace. 


Here in the Lowcountry, we have had just the faintest hint of a breeze foreshadowing Fall - well, between the rain bands on the outer edges of Sally.  Cooler temps are promised for the next week or so.


I have a book I love to turn to with the turning of the seasons. I've shared excerpts from it before... and I think some of you have it, too? The Illuminated Book of Days, edited by Kay and Marshall Lee, with illustrations by (sigh) Kate Greenaway and Eugene Grasset (G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1979).


It's lovely, fun, and nostalgic, with tidbits of poetry and lore and historical gems for each month. 


Here are a few lines and verses featured in its September pages:



   September blow soft

   Till the fruit's in the loft.






         There is harmony 

In Autumn, and a lustre in its sky,

Which thro' the Summer is not heard or seen.







Fruit gathered too timely will taste of the wood,

   will shrink and be bitter, and seldom prove good.

So fruit that is shaken, or beat off a tree,

   with bruising and falling, soon faultie will be. 





And,  my favorite...



O wild West Wind, thou breath of Autumn's being,

Thou, from whose unseen presence the leaves dead

Are driven, like ghosts from an enchanter fleeing.





Now, follow those falling leaves over to Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme, where Matt has a pile of poems to jump in for this week's Roundup.  Thanks for hosting, Matt!

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