Wandering in Woodacre – 22 September 2020: Autumn

Greeting Autumn

Below – “Georgia O’Keeffe: “Autumn Leaves”

Art for Autumn – Vincent van Gogh: “Autumn Landscape”

A Poem for Autumn

“To Autumn”
by John Keats

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap’d furrow sound asleep,
Drows’d with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twinéd flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.

Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,—
While barréd clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

Below – William Stott of Oldham: “Autumn”


Art for Autumn – Jean-Francois Millet: “Haystacks Autumn”


Musings in Autumn: Nathaniel Hawthorne

“I cannot endure to waste anything so precious as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house.”

Below – Viktor Kucheryavyy: “The Golden Hour”

Art for Autumn – Lise Temple: “Autumn Vineyard with Cypresses”

A Poem for Autumn

“The Thrush”
by Edward Thomas

When Winter’s ahead,
What can you read in November
That you read in April
When Winter’s dead?

I hear the thrush, and I see
Him alone at the end of the lane
Near the bare poplar’s tip,
Singing continuously.

Is it more that you know
Than that, even as in April,
So in November,
Winter is gone that must go?

Or is all your lore
Not to call November November,
And April April,
And Winter Winter—no more?

But I know the months all,
And their sweet names, April,
May and June and October,
As you call and call

I must remember
What died into April
And consider what will be born
Of a fair November;

And April I love for what
It was born of, and November
For what it will die in,
What they are and what they are not,

While you love what is kind,
What you can sing in
And love and forget in
All that’s ahead and behind.

Below – Turdus Philomelos: “The Song Thrush”

Art for Autumn – Wassily Kandinsky: “Autumn in Murnau”

A Poem for Autumn

“Japanese Maple”
by Clive James

Your death, near now, is of an easy sort.
So slow a fading out brings no real pain.
Breath growing short
Is just uncomfortable. You feel the drain
Of energy, but thought and sight remain:
Enhanced, in fact. When did you ever see
So much sweet beauty as when fine rain falls
On that small tree
And saturates your brick back garden walls,
So many Amber Rooms and mirror halls?
Ever more lavish as the dusk descends
This glistening illuminates the air.
It never ends.
Whenever the rain comes it will be there,
Beyond my time, but now I take my share.
My daughter’s choice, the maple tree is new.
Come autumn and its leaves will turn to flame.
What I must do
Is live to see that. That will end the game
For me, though life continues all the same:
Filling the double doors to bathe my eyes,
A final flood of colours will live on
As my mind dies,
Burned by my vision of a world that shone
So brightly at the last, and then was gone.

Below – Christoper P Jones: “Japanese Maple”

Art for Autumn – Childe Hassam: “Autumn Boulevard, Paris”

Musings in Autumn: Dodie Smith

“Why is summer mist romantic and autumn mist just sad?”

Below – David Snider: “Autumn Mist”

Art for Autumn – Martin Stranka: “I Can Hear You Call” (photograph)

A Poem for Autumn

“Beginning”
by James Wright

The moon drops one or two feathers into the field.
The dark wheat listens.
Be still.
Now.
There they are, the moon’s young, trying
Their wings.
Between trees, a slender woman lifts up the lovely shadow
Of her face, and now she steps into the air, now she is gone
Wholly, into the air.
I stand alone by an elder tree, I do not dare breathe
Or move.
I listen.
The wheat leans back toward its own darkness,
And I lean toward mine.

Below – Howard Sills: “On the Night Walk”


Art for Autumn – David Hockney: “Woldgate Woods”


Musings in Autumn: George Eliot

“Is not this a true autumn day? Just the still melancholy that I love – that makes life and nature harmonise. The birds are consulting about their migrations, the trees are putting on the hectic or the pallid hues of decay, and begin to strew the ground, that one’s very footsteps may not disturb the repose of earth and air, while they give us a scent that is a perfect anodyne to the restless spirit. Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.”

Below – Vahe Yeremyan: “Autumn Palette”

Art for Autumn – Pierre Bonnard: “Autumn View”


A Poem for Autumn

“Sonnet 73: That time of year thou mayst in me behold”
by William Shakespeare

That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruin’d choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou see’st the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth in the west,
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death’s second self, that seals up all in rest.
In me thou see’st the glowing of such fire
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the death-bed whereon it must expire,
Consum’d with that which it was nourish’d by.
This thou perceiv’st, which makes thy love more strong,
To love that well which thou must leave ere long.

Below – Clement Tsang: “Tree Without Leaves”


Art for Autumn – Bach Nguyen: “green autumn”

Musings in Autumn: Ray Bradbury

“That country where it is always turning late in the year. That country where the hills are fog and the rivers are mist; where noons go quickly, dusks and twilights linger, and midnights stay. That country composed in the main of cellars, sub-cellars, coal-bins, closets, attics, and pantries faced away from the sun. That country whose people are autumn people, thinking only autumn thoughts. Whose people passing at night on the empty walks sound like rain.”

Below – Arnold Bocklin: “Autumn Thoughts”


Art for Autumn – Andrew Bret Wallis: “Fall First Light”


A Poem for Autumn

“Final Autumn”
by Annie Finch

Maple leaves turn black in the courtyard.
Light drives lower and one bluejay crams
our cold memories out past the sun,

each time your traces come past the shadows
and visit under my looking-glass fingers
that lift and block out the sun.

Come—I’ll trace you one final autumn,
and you can trace your last homecoming
into the snow or the sun.

Below – Edwidge De Mota: “Homecoming”

Art for Autumn – Katsushika Hokusai: “Peasants in Autumn”


Musings in Autumn: John Howard Bryant

“Autumn…the year’s last, loveliest smile.”

Below – Yuanyuan Liu: “Autumn Landscape”


Art for Autumn – Veneta Karamfilova: “The Whisper of Autumn” (photograph)

A Poem for Autumn

“Nothing Gold Can Stay”
by Robert Frost

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

Below – David Snider: “Summer Departs”


Art for Autumn – Gustav Klimt: “Birch Forest”


Welcome, Wonderful Autumn

Below – Below – Egon Schiele: “Four Trees”

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