My November Guest
My sorrow, when she's here with me,
Thinks these dark days of autumn rain
Are beautiful as days can be;
She loves the bare, the withered tree;
She walks the sodden pasture lane.
Her pleasure will not let me stay.
She talks and I am fain to list:
She's glad the birds are gone away,
She's glad her simple worsted grey
Is silver now with clinging mist.
The desolate deserted trees,
The faded earth, the heavy sky,
The beauty she so truly sees,
She thinks I have no eye for these,
And vexes me for reason why.
Not yesterday I learned to know
The love of bare November days
Before the coming of the snow;
But it were vain to tell her so,
And they are better for her praise.
- Robert Frost -
Solitude Late at Night in the Woods
The body is like a November birch facing the full moon
And reaching into the cold heavens.
In these trees there is no ambition, no sodden body, no leaves,
Nothing but bare trunks climbing like cold fire!
My last walk in the trees has come.
At dawn I must return to the trapped fields,
To the obedient earth.
The trees shall be reaching all the winter.
It is a joy to walk in the bare woods.
The moonlight is not broken by the heavy leaves.
The leaves are down, and touching the soaked earth,
Giving off the odors that partridges love."-
- Robert Bly -
November has long been one of my very favorite months, and yet finding poetry that talks favorably of this month is extremely difficult. This may be part of the reason why I love it. I have always been a supporter of the underdog; I have always loved the least loved the very most. And November is the left out month, the dreaded month. As Joseph Addison wrote:
"The gloomy month of November, when people of England hang and drown themselves."
Or, in the words of Thomas Hood:
"No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,
No comfortable feel in any member -
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds -
There is something so wild and desperate in the cold winds and rains of November. Mist and gloom is extremely satifying to some echoing wild part of my nature. Here, in the desert mountians we get so little of steady rain, soggy leaves, gray skies; even the winter, after the snow storms are over, parade cheerful skies of blue. Possibly if I lived in England, and had an abundance of gray skies, instead of an abundance of sun, I would want to drown or hang myself. But, as it is, I watch the rain falling against the gray lifeless trees, and I feel exhilerated. I walk in the freezing rain, catching my breath at it's fierceness, and enjoying the "odor that partridges love". At least the two Roberts seem to have some of the vision of this months beauty.
Today is the second day of November, and the second day of rain. One more day of it to enjoy, and on Thursday we will get snow. I will enjoy the "cold November rain" while I can.
Sunday, November 2, 2008
My November Guest