Saturday, September 8, 2012

Today's poem by May Sarton



A Late Mowing

Neighbors have come to mow my ragged field,
And three old horses bring the autumn home.
Now the blond waving grasses must come down,
And all the tasseled splendor has to yield.

Goodbye to summer's feast and variations:
Two months ago there burst into great praises,
White as enamel, in rich constellations,
A sky of stars flung down to earth as daisies.

When they went out, the fireflies were showing;
The green field pulsed with intermittent fire,
And the cats crept a jungle of desire
After these softest stars within the mowing.

Goodbye to ringing of the sumptuous changes -
To black-eyed Susan, paintbrushes and plantain,
Clear buttercups and cloudy asters, mullein.
Goodbye and praise to the high-summer ranges.

Now all those stars are altered in their courses,
And the rich field cut back to rock and root;
My neighbors with their three autumnal horses
Cut down the ghosts of summer with the fruit.

Winter, be gentle to this earth you keep,
To buried root, and all that creeps and flies,
While overhead your dazzling daisy skies
Flower in the cold, bright mowing that will keep.

May Sarton
from As Does New Hampshire, 1967

14 comments:

  1. I love this poem
    especially the part
    "winter be gentle to this earth"
    made me think of our winter which
    will arrive soon.
    Nan, thank you
    I am always learning from you :)

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    1. I've just spent a couple hours reading this book of her poems, writing a few out to post in later months. I too love the line you quoted.

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  2. Nice. I have never seen Sarton's poetry before, but her "Mrs Stevens Hears the Mermaids Singing "is a favorite novel.

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    1. I've never read her fiction, only her nonfiction and poetry. I'll look into this.

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  3. I enjoyed this poem. It captures the landscape during this season so beautifully.

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  4. PLANT DREAMING DEEP is my favorite May Sarton read. She has always charmed me. I loved her cottage, her isolation, her honesty. Today her starting lines, "Neighbors have come to mow my ragged field, And three old horses bring the autumn home. Now the blond waving grasses must come down, And all the tasseled splendor has to yield " are particularly touching as summer quickly turns to autumn with winter just two months away. Thank you, Nan.

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    1. Oh yes! I have and love that book. Thank you both, Nan & Lynn, for the poem & comments.
      ~Barb

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    2. It is lovely to meet other MS fans.

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  5. I have read PDD; and in the poetry book this one came from is a poem entitled the same.
    I love all the seasons, and she describes this one just perfectly.

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  6. I rather like the poem, but it certainly doesn't reflect the kind of summer we've had here this year! Having said that, September has brought the sun (finally), it is very warm indeed, and if the ground has dried out we may be able to mow the lawn and cut back the jungle of weeds...

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    1. I am so sorry about your wet, wet summer but glad the sun has returned.

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  7. You always share such wonderful poems, Nan! I love this part:

    Goodbye to ringing of the sumptuous changes -
    To black-eyed Susan, paintbrushes and plantain,
    Clear buttercups and cloudy asters, mullein.
    Goodbye and praise to the high-summer ranges.

    And after our long, hot, dry summer, I am actually looking forward to winter! Fall is trying to nudge its way in, but our temps continue to be a bit warm (80s) during the day. We've had a little bit of rain, but could use a lot more!

    Thanks again for sharing this. You are my poetry ambassador!

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    1. Thank you. I dearly love each poem that appears here. Each one is special in its own way - just like a book or album I suppose.
      We're having lovely weather. Cool and sunny during the day, cooler at night. The wood stove is going today!

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