Verse for Autumn

An old post with a few changes. It seems like a poetry kind of day.

Poetry. Thoughts that travel from the head through the heart and out through the fingers to become words on paper.

The Road Not Taken
By Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

I’m keeping it simple and unsophisticated today. Sometimes it is a good thing to see the old stories and the old poems.  This poem by Edgar Guest reminds me of my family, and those who I see now only in my mind’s eye.

Edgar Guest was born in England. He came to the United States with his parents in 1891, and became a copy boy and reporter at the Detroit Free Press. His first poem was printed in the Freep in 1898, when he was only 17.

[Wikipedia] Guest penned some 11,000 poems which were syndicated in some 300 newspapers and collected in more than 20 books, including A Heap o’ Livin’ (1916) and Just Folks (1917). Guest was made Poet Laureate of Michigan, the only poet to have been awarded the title.

His popularity led to a weekly Detroit radio show which he hosted from 1931 until 1942, followed by a 1951 NBC television series, A Guest in Your Home. He also had a thrice-weekly transcribed radio program that began January 15, 1941, and was sponsored by Land O’Lakes Creameries.

 

Thanksgiving by Edgar Albert Guest

Gettin’ together to smile an’ rejoice,
An’ eatin’ an’ laughin’ with folks of your choice;
An’ kissin’ the girls an’ declarin’ that they
Are growin’ more beautiful day after day;
Chattin’ an’ braggin’ a bit with the men,
Buildin’ the old family circle again;
Livin’ the wholesome an’ old-fashioned cheer,
Just for awhile at the end of the year.

Greetings fly fast as we crowd through the door
And under the old roof we gather once more
Just as we did when the youngsters were small;
Mother’s a little bit grayer, that’s all.
Father’s a little bit older, but still
Ready to romp an’ to laugh with a will.

Here we are back at the table again
Tellin’ our stories as women an’ men.
Bowed are our heads for a moment in prayer;
Oh, but we’re grateful an’ glad to be there.
Home from the east land an’ home from the west,
Home with the folks that are dearest an’ best.
Out of the sham of the cities afar
We’ve come for a time to be just what we are.

Here we can talk of ourselves an’ be frank,
Forgettin’ position an’ station an’ rank.
Give me the end of the year an’ its fun
When most of the plannin’ an’ toilin’ is done;
Bring all the wanderers home to the nest,
Let me sit down with the ones I love best,
Hear the old voices still ringin’ with song,
See the old faces unblemished by wrong,
See the old table with all of its chairs
An’ I’ll put soul in my Thanksgivin’ prayers.

dividerbittersweet

 This one was written by my mother.  It’s not a masterpiece either, but means a lot to me.

Grandma Ellen and Tom

Days On The Farm
The garden is dying, all weedy and brown
Dotted with pumpkins and squash on the ground.
The birds on the wind are honking goodbye;
I watch them in silence and heave a big sigh,
To mourn for the passing of summer’s last cry.
God gave us this beauty, for soon we will know
The grimness of winter and new fallen snow.

God, please give us one more time
To see things grow,
To be on the farm
That we all love so.

Let loved ones come
Both young and old
Just one more time
Before it is sold.

Just one more season
Of early morns
When bird songs
Herald a new day born.

Walking the pathways
Thinking our thoughts
Praising the Lord
For all He has wrought.

Young people laughing
Under the tree
Bout what we can’t share,
Contented and free.

Raspberry picking
Strawberries too,
Hot in the sun
For our young and old crew.

Home to the kitchen
For lunch and a drink
It is good to be home
And just sit and think.

Busy in the kitchen
Cooking a meal;
Stuff from the garden,
And baking with zeal.

O God, in your mercy
Let us once more
Walk that dear earth
As we’ve done before.

The world is a clamor
A noise and a shout,
But here it is quiet,
Your world all about.

We thank you our Father
For your tender care.
For giving the strength
To work, aches to bear.

One day at a time
So special and dear
We count every hour
They are precious this year.

dividerbittersweet

Written in the fall of 1979, the year my Aunt Anna died. My mother, daughter, aunt, and cousin stayed with her at the family farm every summer for several years. This is where my mother and her siblings were born, where her father worked the land.

They had one more year, then the farm was sold, and all of my Aunt Anna’s things too. My mother and Aunt Verna went out and locked the door; it was a sad year.

Please share your thoughts, and your favorite poetry.

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8 Responses to Verse for Autumn

  1. stella says:

    More from Edgar Guest:

    You can do as much as you think you can,
    But you’ll never accomplish more;
    If you’re afraid of yourself, young man,
    There’s little for you in store.
    For failure comes from the inside first,
    It’s there, if we only knew it,
    And you can win, though you face the worst,
    If you feel that you’re going to do it.

    –Excerpt from “The Secret of the Ages” (1926)

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Menagerie says:

    I’m going to have to say that I like the Thanksgiving picture better without Apple products. 😀

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Me too. I’m impressed with Granma, though. That’s a good 20 pound bird she’s holding with arms stretched out and looking like she could stand there all day with it. I sure couldn’t,

    Liked by 3 people

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