The Marigold is the flower associated with October.
Below – Koloman Moser: “Marigolds.”
In the words of one writer, “October is the tenth month of the year in the Julian and Gregorian Calendars and the sixth of seven months to have a length of 31 days. The eighth month in the old Roman calendar, October retained its name (from the Latin ‘ôctō,’ meaning ‘eight’) after January and February were inserted into the calendar that had originally been created by the Romans.”
“October is the month for painted leaves…. As fruits and leaves and the day itself acquire a bright tint just before they fall, so the year near its setting. October is its sunset sky; November the later twilight.”
Art for October – George Innes: “October”
A Poem for October
by Robert Frost
O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
Tomorrow’s wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.
The crows above the forest call;
Tomorrow they may form and go.
O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow.
Make the day seem to us less brief.
Hearts not averse to being beguiled,
Beguile us in the way you know.
Release one leaf at break of day;
At noon release another leaf;
One from our trees, one far away.
Retard the sun with gentle mist;
Enchant the land with amethyst.
For the grapes’ sake, if they were all,
Whose leaves already are burnt with frost,
Whose clustered fruit must else be lost—
For the grapes’ sake along the wall.
Art for October – James Tissot: “October”
Musings in October: Thomas Wolfe
“Then summer fades and passes and October comes. We’ll smell smoke then, and feel an unexpected sharpness, a thrill of nervousness, swift elation, a sense of sadness and departure.”
Art for October – Fremont Ellis: “Blue October Weather”
Some quotes from the work of E. B.White:
“If the world were merely seductive, that would be easy. If it were merely challenging, that would be no problem. But I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.”
“A library is a good place to go when you feel unhappy, for there, in a book, you may find encouragement and comfort. A library is a good place to go when you feel bewildered or undecided, for there, in a book, you may have your question answered. Books are good company, in sad times and happy times, for books are people – people who have managed to stay alive by hiding between the covers of a book.”
“I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority.”
“The world is full of people who have never, since childhood, met an open doorway with an open mind.”
“I am pessimistic about the human race because it is too ingenious for its own good. Our approach to nature is to beat it into submission. We would stand a better chance of survival if we accommodated ourselves to this planet and viewed it appreciatively, instead of skeptically and dictatorially.”
“Always be on the lookout for the presence of wonder.”
“All that I hope to say in books, all that I ever hope to say, is that I love the world.”
Art for October – William Merritt Chase: “October”
Musings in October: Joy Fielding
“October was always the least dependable of months…full of ghosts and shadows.”
Below – Paul Cunning: “Ghostly Forest.”
Art for October – Edward Hopper: “October on Cape Cod”
For Your Information: 1 October is World Vegetarian Day.
Art for October – Claude Monet: “The Studio Boat”
A Poem for October
“The Love for October”
by W. S. Merwin
A child looking at ruins grows younger
and wants to wake to a new name
I have been younger in October
than in all the months of spring
walnut and may leaves the color
of shoulders at the end of summer
a month that has been to the mountain
and become light there
the long grass lies pointing uphill
even in death for a reason
that none of us knows
and the wren laughs in the early shade now
come again shining glance in your good time
naked air late morning
my love is for lightness
of touch foot feather
the day is yet one more yellow leaf
and without turning I kiss the light
by an old well on the last of the month
gathering wild rose hips
in the sun
Below – Olga Shvartsur: “Rose Hips.”
Art for October – Vincent van Gogh:”Wheat Field in Rain”
Musings in October: Nova Schubert Bair
“October’s poplars are flaming torches lighting the way to winter.”
Below – Graham Gercken: “Autumn Poplars.”
Art for October – Dante Gabriel Rossetti: “Pandora”
Remembering a Writer on the Date of His Birth: Born 1 October 1946 – Tim O’Brien, an American novelist, short story writer, author of “The Things They Carried” and “Going After Cacciato,” and recipient of the National Book Award.
Some quotes from the work of Tim O’Brien:
“A true war story is never moral. It does not instruct, nor encourage virtue, nor suggest models of proper human behavior, nor restrain men from doing the things men have always done. If a story seems moral, do not believe it. If at the end of a war story you feel uplifted, or if you feel that some small bit of rectitude has been salvaged from the larger waste, then you have been made the victim of a very old and terrible lie. There is no rectitude whatsoever. There is no virtue. As a first rule of thumb, therefore, you can tell a true war story by its absolute and uncompromising allegiance to obscenity and evil.”
“The thing about a story is that you dream it as you tell it, hoping that others might then dream along with you, and in this way memory and imagination and language combine to make spirits in the head. There is the illusion of aliveness.”
“Stories are for joining the past to the future. Stories are for those late hours in the night when you can’t remember how you got from where you were to where you are. Stories are for eternity, when memory is erased, when there is nothing to remember except the story.”
“War is hell, but that’s not the half of it, because war is also mystery and terror and adventure and courage and discovery and holiness and pity and despair and longing and love. War is nasty; war is fun. War is thrilling; war is drudgery. War makes you a man; war makes you dead.”
“And in the end, of course, a true war story is never about war. It’s about sunlight. It’s about the special way that dawn spreads out on a river when you know you must cross the river and march into the mountains and do things you are afraid to do. It’s about love and memory. It’s about sorrow. It’s about sisters who never write back and people who never listen.”
“I survived, but it’s not a happy ending.”
Art for October – Frank Cadogan Cowper: “La Belle Dame Sans Merci”
“October is the fallen leaf, but it is also a wider horizon more clearly seen. It is the distant hills once more in sight, and the enduring constellations above them once again.’
Art for October – Frank Dicksee: “Ophelia”
by Elinor Morton Wylie
Beauty has a tarnished dress,
And a patchwork cloak of cloth
Dipped deep in mournfulness,
Striped like a moth.
Wet grass where it trails
Dyes it green along the hem;
She has seven silver veils
With cracked bells on them.
She is tired of all these–
Grey gauze, translucent lawn;
The broad cloak of Herakles.
Is tangled flame and fawn.
Water and light are wearing thin:
She has drawn above her head
The warm enormous lion skin
Rough red and gold.
Below – Chelsea Davine: “Fallen Golden Leaves”
Art for October – Greg Cartmell: “Last October Moon”
Musings in October: Elizabeth George Speare
“After the keen still days of September, the October sun filled the world with mellow warmth…The maple tree in front of the doorstep burned like a gigantic red torch. The oaks along the roadway glowed yellow and bronze. The fields stretched like a carpet of jewels, emerald and topaz and garnet. Everywhere she walked the color shouted and sang around her…In October any wonderful unexpected thing might be possible.”
Art for October – John Whetten Ehninger: “October”
A Poem for October
“A Letter in October”
by Ted Kooser
Dawn comes later and later now,
and I, who only a month ago
could sit with coffee every morning
watching the light walk down the hill
to the edge of the pond and place
a doe there, shyly drinking,
then see the light step out upon
the water, sowing reflections
to either side—a garden
of trees that grew as if by magic—
now see no more than my face,
mirrored by darkness, pale and odd,
startled by time. While I slept,
night in its thick winter jacket
bridled the doe with a twist
of wet leaves and led her away,
then brought its black horse with harness
that creaked like a cricket, and turned
the water garden under. I woke,
and at the waiting window found
the curtains open to my open face;
beyond me, darkness. And I,
who only wished to keep looking out,
must now keep looking in.
“October, baptize me with leaves! Swaddle me in corduroy and nurse me with split pea soup. October, tuck tiny candy bars in my pockets and carve my smile into a thousand pumpkins. O autumn! O teakettle! O grace!”
A Poem for October
“The Wild Swans at Coole”
by William Butler Yeats
The trees are in their autumn beauty,
The woodland paths are dry,
Under the October twilight the water
Mirrors a still sky;
Upon the brimming water among the stones
Are nine-and-fifty swans.
The nineteenth autumn has come upon me
Since I first made my count;
I saw, before I had well finished,
All suddenly mount
And scatter wheeling in great broken rings
Upon their clamorous wings.
I have looked upon those brilliant creatures,
And now my heart is sore.
All’s changed since I, hearing at twilight,
The first time on this shore,
The bell-beat of their wings above my head,
Trod with a lighter tread.
Unwearied still, lover by lover,
They paddle in the cold
Companionable streams or climb the air;
Their hearts have not grown old;
Passion or conquest, wander where they will,
Attend upon them still.
But now they drift on the still water,
Among what rushes will they build,
By what lake’s edge or pool
Delight men’s eyes when I awake some day
To find they have flown away?
Art for October – John Singer Sargent: “A Dinner Table at Night”
“All things on earth point home in old October; sailors to sea, travellers to walls and fences, hunters to field and hollow and the long voice of the hounds, the lover to the love he has forsaken.”
Below – Andrew Wyeth: “Autumn Cornfield”