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Welcome to October

 October 3rd, 2006

Well here we are in October again. Living in Florida, I sometimes have to think back to when I did live in a temperate climate to rememeber how weather SHOULD track with the calendar.  There are a lot of 'calendar' poems - an obvious theme for any poet who writes a lot - and an even more obvious theme back in the days when lives were much more at the mercy of the weather. There are several excellent calendar poems for October. One of these was written 120 years ago by Helen Hunt Jackson. Jackson was a prolific writer, a friend of poet Emily Dickinson, and was quite a good poet in her own right. Jackson spent much of her life as an ardent advocate for Native American rights.  Have a read and enjoy her seasonal barrage on the senses. --Steve

October's Bright Blue Weather

O SUNS and skies and clouds of June,
And flowers of June together,
Ye cannot rival for one hour
October's bright blue weather; 
When loud the bumblebee makes haste,
Belated, thriftless vagrant,
And goldenrod is dying fast,
And lanes with grapes are fragrant; 
When gentians roll their fingers tight
To save them for the morning,
And chestnuts fall from satin burrs
Without a sound of warning; 
When on the ground red apples lie
In piles like jewels shining,
And redder still on old stone walls
Are leaves of woodbine twining; 
When all the lovely wayside things
Their white-winged seeds are sowing,
And in the fields still green and fair,
Late aftermaths are growing; 
When springs run low, and on the brooks,
In idle golden freighting,
Bright leaves sink noiseless in the hush
Of woods, for winter waiting; 
When comrades seek sweet country haunts,
By twos and twos together,
And count like misers, hour by hour,
October's bright blue weather. 
O sun and skies and flowers of June,
Count all your boasts together,
Love loveth best of all the year
October's bright blue weather.  

Helen Hunt Jackson

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