Greeting November 2017

Welcoming November

Origins

In the words of one writer, “November was the ninth month of the ancient Roman calendar. November retained its name (from the Latin ‘novem’ meaning ‘nine’) when January and February were added to the Roman calendar.”

Below – The flower associated with November is the Chrysanthemum.

A Poem for November

“My November Guest”
By Robert Frost

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 gray
Is silver now with clinging mist.

The desolate, deserted trees,
The faded earth, the heavy sky,
The beauties 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 he so,
And they are better for her praise.


Musings in November: John Clare

“So dull and dark are the November days.
The lazy mist high up the evening curled,
And now the morn quite hides in smoke and haze;
The place we occupy seems all the world.”

Art for Autumn – John Atkinson Grimshaw: “November Moonlight”

A Second Poem for November

“November”
By Elizabeth Coatsworth

November comes

And November goes,

With the last red berries

And the first white snows.

 

With night coming early,

And dawn coming late,

And ice in the bucket

And frost by the gate.

 

The fires burn

And the kettles sing,

And earth sinks to rest

Until next spring.


Musings in November: Lucy Maud Montgomery

“November–with uncanny witchery in its changed trees. With murky red sunsets flaming in smoky crimson behind the westering hills. With dear days when the austere woods were beautiful and gracious in a dignified serenity of folded hands and closed eyes–days full of a fine, pale sunshine that sifted through the late, leafless gold of the juniper-trees and glimmered among the grey beeches, lighting up evergreen banks of moss and washing the colonnades of the pines. Days with a high-sprung sky of flawless turquoise. Days when an exquisite melancholy seemed to hang over the landscape and dream about the lake. But days, too, of the wild blackness of great autumn storms, followed by dank, wet, streaming nights when there was witch-laughter in the pines and fitful moans among the mainland trees. What cared they? Old Tom had built his roof well, and his chimney drew.”

Below – November at Green Gables.


Art for Autumn – Joe Kazimierczyk: “Creekside, November”

 

A Third Poem for November

“When the Year Grows Old”
By Edna St. Vincent Millay

I cannot but remember
When the year grows old—
October—November—
How she disliked the cold!

She used to watch the swallows
Go down across the sky,
And turn from the window
With a little sharp sigh.

And often when the brown leaves
Were brittle on the ground,
And the wind in the chimney
Made a melancholy sound,

She had a look about her
That I wish I could forget—
The look of a scared thing
Sitting in a net!

Oh, beautiful at nightfall
The soft spitting snow!
And beautiful the bare boughs
Rubbing to and fro!

But the roaring of the fire,
And the warmth of fur,
And the boiling of the kettle
Were beautiful to her!

I cannot but remember
When the year grows old —
October — November —
How she disliked the cold!


Musings in November: Sir Kristian Goldmund Aumann

“November; Crows are approaching – Wounded leaves fall to the ground.”

Below – Jeffrey Hill: “Leaving Autumn”


Art for Autumn – Hanne Lore Koehler: “Misty November Woods”

A Fourth Poem for November

“How happy I was if I could forget”
By Emily Dickinson

How happy I was if I could forget
To remember how sad I am
Would be an easy adversity
But the recollecting of Bloom

Keeps making November difficult
Till I who was almost bold
Lose my way like a little Child
And perish of the cold.

Below – David Jay Spiker: “One Winter Day.”


Musings in November: Cecil Day-Lewis

“The river this November afternoon
Rests in an equipoise of sun and cloud:
A glooming light, a gleaming darkness shroud
Its passage. All seems tranquil, all in tune.”


Art for Autumn – John Roush: “November Wind”

A Fifth Poem for November

“The Crazy Woman”
By Gwendolyn Brooks

I shall not sing a May song.
A May song should be gay.
I’ll wait until November
And sing a song of gray.

I’ll wait until November
That is the time for me.
I’ll go out in the frosty dark
And sing most terribly.

And all the little people
Will stare at me and say,
“That is the Crazy Woman
Who would not sing in May.”

Below – Lionello Balestrieri: “Woman in a Paris Street at Night.”


Musings in November: Walt Whitman

“The wild gander leads his flock through the cool night,
Ya-honk!  he says, and sounds it down to me like an invitation:
The pert may suppose it meaningless, but I listen closer,
I find its purpose and place up there toward the November sky.”


Art for Autumn: Wendy Budan: “November Sun”

A Sixth Poem for November

“The Region November”
By Wallace Stevens

It is hard to hear the north wind again,
And to watch the treetops, as they sway.

They sway, deeply and loudly, in an effort,
So much less than feeling, so much less than speech,

Saying and saying, the way things say
On the level of that which is not yet knowledge:

A revelation not yet intended.
It is like a critic of God, the world

And human nature, pensively seated
On the waste throne of his own wilderness.

Deeplier, deeplier, loudlier, loudlier,
The trees are swaying, swaying, swaying.

Musings in November: William Morris

“Yea, I have looked, and seen November there;
The changeless seal of change it seemed to be,
Fair death of things that, living once, were fair;
Bright sign of loneliness too great for me,
Strange image of the dread eternity,
In whose void patience how can these have part,
These outstretched feverish hands, this restless heart?”

Art for Autumn – Edward Hopper: “November Washington Square”


A Seventh Poem for November

“November Night”
By Adelaide Crapsey

Listen.

With faint dry sound,
Like steps of passing ghosts,
The leaves, frost-crisp’d, break from the trees
And fall.


Art for Autumn – Peter Fiore: “Fall, November”


Musings in November: Leonard Clark

“Fog in November, trees have no heads,
Streams only sound, walls suddenly stop
Half-way up hills, the ghost of a man spreads
Dung on dead fields for next year’s crop.
I cannot see my hand before my face,
My body does not seem to be my own,
The world becomes a far-off, foreign place,
People are strangers, houses silent, unknown.”


An Eighth Poem for November

“Temps Perdu”
By Dorothy Parker

I never may turn the loop of a road
Where sudden, ahead, the sea is lying,
But my heart drags down with an ancient load-
My heart, that a second before was flying.

I never behold the quivering rain-
And sweeter the rain than a lover to me-
But my heart is wild in my breast with pain;
My heart, that was tapping contentedly.

There’s never a rose spreads new at my door
Nor a strange bird crosses the moon at night
But I know I have known its beauty before,
And a terrible sorrow along with the sight.

The look of a laurel tree birthed for May
Or a sycamore bared for a new November
Is as old and as sad as my furtherest day-
What is it, what is it, I almost remember?


Art for Autumn – Charles Burchfield: “November Dawn”

Welcome, Lovely November!

Below – November in the Ozarks.

 

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