Sunday, 4 September 2011

Hanging on to summer... but looking forward to autumn!

''Autumn is upon us. The pedants might cling to the notion that summer is not officially over until the autumnal equinox towards the end of September, but most of us know better than to waffle on about the tilt of the earth's axis. That's not what announces autumn. It's the renewed traffic chaos of the school run that announces autumn; the sexy new TV schedules; the first full month of the football season.''

So says Brian Viner in The Independent,today!

I rather enjoyed reading his article as I was

' doing the rounds' of the papers, online.

I then turned to 'The Guardian' and found this different take on 'Autumn',

'' Autumn is the Ringo of the seasons...''

I liked that rather, splendid metaphor!


During Autumns gone by, the Impressionist artists must have had a field day!!

They were all at it in Autumn, it seems...

Firstly, Vincent's efforts ...

Secondly, Pierre Auguste's offerings :

Not to mention Claude's delights :

Van Gogh, Renoir and Monet (as if you didn't know!)

And no doubt many more!

So...what's next?

Well, next I turned to a site which I love, to find out what they had to offer on

the subject of Autumn...

I wasn't disappointed!

But there's more...!!

The poets!

The poets have never sat quietly when the subject of Autumn is mentioned.

Keats is obviously one poet who crops up, frequently.

How many people know the famous, first line of the first verse...

but alas no more than that first line?!!

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-eves 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.

John Clare, meanwhile, well known for his peaceful poetry,
celebrates the bird life:

Autumn Birds by John Clare
The wild duck startles like a sudden thought,
And heron slow as if it might be caught.
The flopping crows on weary wings go by
And grey beard jackdaws noising as they fly.
The crowds of starnels whizz and hurry by,
And darken like a clod the evening sky.
The larks like thunder rise and suthy round,
Then drop and nestle in the stubble ground.
The wild swan hurries hight and noises loud
With white neck peering to the evening clowd.
The weary rooks to distant woods are gone.
With lengths of tail the magpie winnows on
To neighbouring tree, and leaves the distant crow
While small birds nestle in the edge below.

However, I rather like this one from Ted Hughes;

full of fine imagery, I think it kinds of sums up Autumn, rather well:

The Seven Sorrows

The first sorrow of autumn
Is the slow goodbye
Of the garden who stands so long in the evening-
A brown poppy head,
The stalk of a lily,
And still cannot go.

The second sorrow
Is the empty feet
Of a pheasant who hangs from a hook with his brothers.
The woodland of gold
Is folded in feathers
With its head in a bag.

And the third sorrow
Is the slow goodbye
Of the sun who has gathered the birds and who gathers
The minutes of evening,
The golden and holy
Ground of the picture.

The fourth sorrow
Is the pond gone black
Ruined and sunken the city of water-
The beetle's palace,
The catacombs
Of the dragonfly.

And the fifth sorrow
Is the slow goodbye
Of the woodland that quietly breaks up its camp.
One day it's gone.
It has only left litter-
Firewood, tentpoles.

And the sixth sorrow
Is the fox's sorrow
The joy of the huntsman, the joy of the hounds,
The hooves that pound
Till earth closes her ear
To the fox's prayer.

And the seventh sorrow
Is the slow goodbye
Of the face with its wrinkles that looks through the window
As the year packs up
Like a tatty fairground
That came for the children.

Ted Hughes


And what about the children?

Ah well, apart from

taking them out into the woods, country lanes

fields etc with their cameras, sketchbooks...

and not forgetting the odd 'I Spy' book or two,

I think we all know that for children, you need go no further

than these wonderful Ladybird books!!


It's not here yet and maybe you, like me,

are trying to hang on to the last remnants of summer?

But it will soon be with us and boy are we all ready to celebrate

the beauty of the season of Autumn when it arrives!!

Party we will!

And here is a poem which seems a fitting end to this blog post:

October gave a party;
The leaves by hundreds came -
The Chestnuts, Oaks, and Maples,
And leaves of every name.
The Sunshine spread a carpet,
And everything was grand,
Miss Weather led the dancing,
Professor Wind the band.
~George Cooper, "October's Party"



galant said...

What a super, super post today, Sal, to herald autumn. I love the very last poem - October gave a party - it's short (which is how I like my poetry, as I much prefer prose any day) and, of course, the delightful "What to Look for in Autumn" Ladybird book, of that very good set of four seasons.
Apropos painters, it wasn't just the Impressionists who had a field day (pardon the pun) in autumn, but many other painters. First up, I'd mention one of my own favourites, John Atkinson Grimshaw, a Leeds painter mainly of scenes set among townscapes and dockyards (lots of cranes, and I don't mean birds) but who also painted some wonderful autumnal scenes, such as Golden Light, 1893, a road where the trees behind parkland walls have shed their leaves which cover the road and pavement.
I love spring best of all, but autumn comes a close second (the sting in its tail being that winter follows!) and one of the joys is collecting walnuts which have fallen from our tree, and then replacing glass and china ornaments in our sitting room with copper lustre jugs and treen.
Margaet P

The Weaver of Grass said...

I wonder what it is that makes Autumn such a magnet for artists of all kinds - Autumn and Spring I suppose are the intermediate seasons.
Love your photos - they bring it all to life very well Sal.

Carol said...

Loved the Ted Hughes poem. I find Autumn is my 'downbeat' season, think it is the nights drawing in, roll on January!
Carol xx

galant said...

I left a comment yesterday, Sal, but it's obviously vanished into the ether.
First, I think I mentioned the last poem, October gave a party, which I liked best of all (because it's short and that's how I like my poetry as I always prefer prose); then I think I mentioned the lovely Ladybird books, What to Look for in Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter, which are a delight; I think I also said that while Spring is my favourite season, Autumn comes second and it might even tie with Spring if it were not for the fact that Winter followed!
And finally, as well as those lovely Impressionist's paintings, I mentioned the lovely autumn-style paintings of John Atkinson Grimshaw. He is best known for his townscapes and dockyards (with cranes, and I don't mean the birds) but he also painted delightful Autumn scenes of leafy lanes with bare trees and carpets of golden leaves underfoot.
Margaret P

Mary Ann Tate said...

Loved your post. We are having strange days here....high humidity, rain, boiling heat yesterday and then today it is definetly fall weather...there's a chill in the air:) I love autumn.