Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Mist and All

The Mist and All

I like the fall
The mist and all
I like the night owl’s lonely call
And wailing sound
Of wind around.
 I like the gray
November day
And dead, bare boughs that coldly sway
Against my pane
I like the rain.
I like to sit
And laugh at it
And tend my cozy fire a bit
I like the fall
The mist and all.

-- Dixie Wilson

When I was little, our aunt and uncle in Kansas brought us a set of Childcraft encyclopedias. You'll probably hear about Places to Know in another blog because for awhile it was my favorite book. But this poem was in Poems to Know. My sister and I read that book constantly.  It's not that we didn't have other poetry books. Our father loves literature and taught English; we had anthologies galore. (I was going to say we were "well-versed in poetry," but I thought your eyes might roll right back into your head and not come out again). But this was a book of poems especially selected for children, with interesting illustrations and poems we hadn't read before. We would take turns reading them, and we memorized several.

(If my sister is reading this, she will laugh when I write, "The gingham dog and the calico cat, two by two on the table sat...")

We always knew the writers of poems because that was important in our house, but we didn't pay as much attention to them in Poems to Know for some reason. Thus it was that I didn't know this little poem was written by a Ziegfield Follies chorus girl. That makes it even more interesting, but I'm actually not here to talk about poetry and poets, despite what it looks like. (My students would say, "Isn't your thesis supposed to match your essay?" And I would say, "Only if you want a good grade. Blogs are for anarchy.")

I posted this poem because every fiber of my being is trying to rush ahead and look forward to fall. I know better. Northern New York people have taught me not to rush summer, for its lease hath all too short a date. There will come a time when I am freezing cold, coming home with a bag full of papers to grade, and I will think back to a summer day that I didn't properly appreciate -- this one, perhaps, when I am thinking about apple cider and beef stew, earlier dark and students unwinding scarves and patting down their hair to quell the static.

Winter is my season, but I do like fall, the mist and all. And when I've had a good summer, I don't dread its coming. But it doesn't start until September 22, so I'm trying not to rush it.

1 comment:

  1. By a Ziegfeld Follies chorus girl, really ? Everyone who has learned a bit of English at school knows this poem, here in France, it was part of Poems to Know. No links to the author (I thought it she was Sara Coleridge !) except yours. Thanks three times !