Monday, 10 October 2011

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness

The vagaries of the English weather meant that one day I was throwing off the duvet and the next found me wishing to snuggle down beneath it! Autumn has slowly been creeping upon us, showing off her colours so proudly in the sunshine. Now she is here in all her glory, and I feel I must catch her quickly as the wind is showering my lawn with leaves and scattering apples about the beds. 

This clump of mushrooms appeared in an old tree stump, adding to the richness all around us. (Colours sharpened in Photoshop)

Daily the vine leaves create this pile, the grapes having been finished off by the birds.

Often in Autumn, my thoughts turn to poetry. Percy Bysshe Shelley puts it thus :

There is a harmony in autumn,
and a luster in its sky,
which through the summer is not heard or seen,
as if it could not be, as if it had not been!

And 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-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.

Last year in my Poetry group, this poem was discussed and it was suggested that Keats had already composed it when he wrote a letter from Winchester dated 22nd September 1819 to his friend, Reynolds. In the letter he says:

'How beautiful the season is now. How fine the air ... a temperate sharpness about it. Really, without joking, chaste weather ... Dian skies. I never liked stubble-fields so much as now ... aye, better than chilly green of the Spring. Somehow a stubble plain looks warm, in the same way that some pictures look warm. This struck me so much in my Sunday's walk that I composed upon it.'

Nearly 200 years later, these words are still fresh and descriptive, capturing the essence of this change in seasons.

Enjoy your Monday! x

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