Autumn

Goodbye Autumn: Hello Winter

Poetic Beats

Welcome to this week’s edition of Poetic Beats with Howard Bond and Davy D recorded on the 27th of November 2017 on Red Kite Radio.

With Autumn coming to and end in the UK and Winter approaching, we look at the poem Autumn Violets, by Christina Rossetti. The poem reflects on how everything has its place, with Violets being flowers of the Spring.

Christina Rossetti is regarded as one of the greatest English poets of the 19th Century. Her most famous poem, A Christmas Carol, will be sung all over the world throughout Christmas. Placed to music by Gustav Holst in 1906, the song version was titled, In the Bleak Midwinter.

If you are having difficulty accessing the recording, a text version of the poem is provided after the sound bar.

To hear this week’s episode please press the arrow to the left of the sound bar below.

 

 

Autumn Violets

 

Keep love for youth, and violets for the spring:

Or if these bloom when worn-out autumn grieves,

Let them lie hid in double shade of leaves,

Their own, and others dropped down withering;

For violets suit when home birds build and sing,

Not when the outbound bird a passage cleaves;

Not with dry stubble of mown harvest sheaves,

But when the green world buds to blossoming.

Keep violets for the spring, and love for youth,

Love that should dwell with beauty, mirth, and hope:

Or if a later sadder love be born,

Let this not look for grace beyond its scope,

But give itself, nor plead for answering truth—

A grateful Ruth tho’ gleaning scanty corn.

 

Christina Georgina Rossetti:

Haiku in Winter

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Picture Credit: Carsten Huels

How did that happen?

It only seemed a moment ago, when I was walking through decaying leaves and pondering the poetic joys of Autumn when Winter arrives.

Here in the UK we have had a colder start to Winter than in past years. Temperatures have reached minus 9 degrees centigrade, in some areas, and snow has fallen in the North of England. It looks like a cold one and I’m happy, as I can hibernate in the poetry den for three months and get ahead with the poetry and writing.

Winter has provided the inspiration for many poets and poems and haiku is a genre of poetry where the theme of Winter is prominent. I have been reading a lot of haiku recently and there are perfect examples of haiku both, traditional and modern, inspired by the winter months.

Three of the masters of the haiku tradition Bashō, Buson and Issa all took inspiration from Winter and reading their work takes you to the heart and moment of the season. This haiku by Bashō (translated by Robert Hass) provides a perfect example.

Winter solitude-
in a world of one colour
the sound of wind.

From a more modern perspective Ruth Yarrow’s haiku captures the childhood joy that

Autumn’s Poetic Joy

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Summer is officially over in the UK.

Writing this blog and looking out of the poetry den window, the leaves and vines on the trees are beginning to lose their summer green and turn yellow. The lavender bushes are in their final bloom and bees are collecting the last remnants of pollen.

Autumn is a wonderful season, cushioning the warmth of summer into the cold of winter. It has influenced many poets and poems. Some of my favourite Autumn poems include, To Autumn by John Keats; Matsuo Basho’s Haiku – Autumn Moonlight and Autumn Journal by Louis MacNeice.

In 2000 I spent three weeks in New England during The Fall. Driving through the woods and forests of Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire, shrouded in red, brown, yellow and gold is an experience still vivid in my memory. There is something magical about the energy in the autumn transformation that makes you want to pick up a pen and get musing.

Gold and brown leaves fall.
Shadows at dusk lengthen as
A winter sleep nears.

If you want to read more poetry about Autumn, then the site at Famous Poets and Poems has a good selection.

What inspires your poetry in the Autumn months? Do you have a favourite poem describing Autumn?

I would be pleased to read your thoughts.