Sentient in San Francisco – 1 September 2019

Greeting September

Below – John Singer Sargent: “Home Fields”

Art for September – Jacqueline van der Plaat: “September Flowers”

A Poem For September

by John Updike

The breezes taste

Of apple peel.

The air is full

Of smells to feel-

Ripe fruit, old footballs,

Burning brush,

New books, erasers,

Chalk, and such.

The bee, his hive,

Well-honeyed hum,

And Mother cuts


Like plates washed clean

With suds, the days

Are polished with

A morning haze.

Below – Tom Brown: “Morning Haze”

Art for September – Bas Wiegmink: “September City”

Musings in September: Stephen King

“But when fall comes, kicking summer out on its treacherous ass as it always does one day sometime after the midpoint of September, it stays awhile like an old friend that you have missed. It settles in the way an old friend will settle into your favorite chair and take out his pipe and light it and then fill the afternoon with stories of places he has been and things he has done since last he saw you.”

Below – Sandy Dooley: “September Party”

Art for September – Dante Gabriel Rossetti: “The Day Dream”

A Poem for September

by Lucy Maud Montgomery

Lo! a ripe sheaf of many golden days
Gleaned by the year in autumn’s harvest ways,
With here and there, blood-tinted as an ember,
Some crimson poppy of a late delight
Atoning in its splendor for the flight
Of summer blooms and joys­
This is September.

Below – Claude Monet: “Women in Red Poppy Field”

Art for September – Paul Emile Chabas: “September Morn”

A Poem for September

by Helen Hunt Jackson

The golden-rod is yellow;
The corn is turning brown;
The trees in apple orchards
With fruit are bending down.

The gentian’s bluest fringes
Are curling in the sun;
In dusty pods the milkweed
Its hidden silk has spun.

The sedges flaunt their harvest,
In every meadow nook;
And asters by the brook-side
Make asters in the brook,

From dewy lanes at morning
The grapes’ sweet odors rise;
At noon the roads all flutter
With yellow butterflies.

By all these lovely tokens
September days are here,
With summer’s best of weather,
And autumn’s best of cheer.

But none of all this beauty
Which floods the earth and air
Is unto me the secret
Which makes September fair.

T’is a thing which I remember;
To name it thrills me yet:
One day of one September
I never can forget.

Below – Pierre-Auguste Renoir: “Landscape with Woman and Dog”

Art for September – Ralf Schmidt: “September Girl”

Musings in September: Sara Baume

“The old summer’s-end melancholy nips at my heels. There’s no school to go back to; no detail of my life will change come the onset of September; yet still, I feel the old trepidation.”

Below – Maurice Sapiro: “September Blues”

Art for September – Sarah Yuster: “Late Night”

A Poem for September

“September’s Baccalaureate”
by Emily Dickinson

September’s Baccalaureate
A combination is
Of Crickets – Crows – and Retrospects
And a dissembling Breeze

That hints without assuming –
An Innuendo sear
That makes the Heart put up its Fun
And turn Philosopher.

Below – Victoria Veedell: “Blue September”

Art for September – Aurora Anne Mersmann: “Pink September Goddess”

Musings in September: Alexander Theroux

“September: it was the most beautiful of words, he’d always felt, evoking orange-flowers, swallows, and regret.”
Below – Fidelia Bridges: “Swallows by the Sea”

Art for September – Yuri Kudryavtsev-Dobrohotov: “The Golden Warm September of My Year”

A Poem for September

by James Chessing

Indian summer—
the old cat shares
her corner of the deck

Art for September – Claude Monet: “Young Girls in a Row Boat”

Musings in September: Thomas Parsons

“Sorrow and scarlet leaf,
Sad thoughts and sunny weather.
Ah me, this glory and this grief
Agree not well together!”
Below – Robert Vonnoh: “Haystacks under a Rainy Sky”

Art for September – Robert Yi: “September”

A Poem for September

“On the Hills”
by Elizabeth Coatsworth

Today I walked on the lion-coloured hills
with only cypresses for company,
until the sunset caught me, turned the brush
to copper
set the clouds
to one great roof of flame
above the earth,
so that I walk through fire, beneath fire,
and all in beauty.
Being alone
I could not be alone, but felt
(closer than flesh) the presence of those
who once had burned in such transfigurations.
My happiness ran through the centuries
in one continual brightness.  Looking down,
I saw the earth beneath me like a rose
petaled with mountains,
fragrant with deep peace.

Below – James Abbot McNeil Whistler: “Sunset: Red and Gold”

Art for September – Tore Hogstvedt: “September Light, Lake Laksjo”

Musings in September: Ali Smith

“Outside the leaves on the trees constricted slightly; they were the deep done green of the beginning of autumn. It was a Sunday in September. There would only be four. The clouds were high and the swallows would be here for another month or so before they left for the south before they returned again next summer.”

Below – Anne Baudequin: “September 4, clouds over the mountains at dusk”

Art for September – Alain Amar: “Walking on the sea a white September morning”

A Poem for September

“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.

Below – Stephen Hedgepeth: “Moonlight in September”

Art for September – Andrew Wyeth: “September Sea”

Welcome, Wonderful September

Below – John William Waterhouse: “The Shrine”

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