"Language, as well as the faculty of speech, was the immediate gift of God." ~ Noah Webster

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

More Autumn

Boy, I am enjoying these beautiful autumn mornings.  This is the kind of fall weather I look forward to each year, but I was so afraid we weren't going to get it this year. I don't know why, but autumn has always stirred so many memories for me; it always feels like a time to reflect on my past.  That is not a bad thing, as long as one doesn't stay there too long.  I think it is the settling in feeling, but autumn always reminds me of my childhood and school, it reminds me of my first days at college when everything was new and exciting.  "Nature" always seems more intense in autumn; smells cleaner, air crisper, days calmer. It's a time of change, and it's a time of rest before the snows fall and the busyness of the holidays begin.

Another poem comes to mind during this time.  I love the diction and colloquialisms that James Whitcomb Riley chose to use in this poem. It's a part of our past, it's our roots; and it's charming. Our most educated language scholar could not even come close to capturing the experience and sentiment that Mr. Riley has captured in this poem.  I love it; I hope you will take the time to read it...then read it again.

When the Frost is on the Punkin
James Whitcomb Riley. 1853–1916

WHEN the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock,
And you hear the kyouck and gobble of the struttin' turkey-cock,
And the clackin' of the guineys, and the cluckin' of the hens,
And the rooster's hallylooyer as he tiptoes on the fence;
O, it's then the time a feller is a-feelin' at his best, With the risin' sun to greet him from a night of peaceful rest,
As he leaves the house, bareheaded, and goes out to feed the stock,
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.

They's something kindo' harty-like about the atmusfere
When the heat of summer's over and the coolin' fall is here—
Of course we miss the flowers, and the blossoms on the trees,
And the mumble of the hummin'-birds and buzzin' of the bees;
But the air's so appetizin'; and the landscape through the haze
Of a crisp and sunny morning of the airly autumn days
Is a pictur' that no painter has the colorin' to mock—
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.

The husky, rusty russel of the tossels of the corn,
And the raspin' of the tangled leaves as golden as the morn;
The stubble in the furries—kindo' lonesome-like, but still
A-preachin' sermuns to us of the barns they growed to fill;
The strawstack in the medder, and the reaper in the shed;
The hosses in theyr stalls below—the clover overhead!—
O, it sets my hart a-clickin' like the tickin' of a clock,
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.

Then your apples all is gethered, and the ones a feller keeps
Is poured around the cellar-floor in red and yaller heaps;
And your cider-makin's over, and your wimmern-folks is through
With theyr mince and apple-butter, and theyr souse and sausage too!...
I don't know how to tell it—but ef such a thing could be
As the angels wantin' boardin', and they'd call around on me— 
I'd want to 'commodate 'em—all the whole-indurin' flock—
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.

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