Friday, September 19, 2014

a poet is a bird

“A poet is a bird of unearthly excellence, who escapes from his celestial realm arrives in this world warbling. If we do not cherish him, he spreads his wings and flies back into his homeland.”

- Khalil Gibran

Speaking of poets of unearthly excellence, it must be time for my yearly posting of this Rilke poem.

Autumn Day

by Rainer Maria Rilke

Lord: it is time. The huge summer has gone by.
Now overlap the sundials with your shadows,
and on the meadows let the wind go free.

Command the fruits to swell on tree and vine;
grant them a few more warm transparent days,
urge them on to fulfillment then, and press
the final sweetness into the heavy wine.

Whoever has no house now, will never have one.
Whoever is alone will stay alone,
will sit, read, write long letters through the evening,
and wander along the boulevards, up and down,
restlessly, while the dry leaves are blowing.

- translated by Stephen Mitchell

And this one seems perfect, too. Is it possible, I wonder, to take September straight? Though we should try.

Absolute September

by Mary Jo Salter

How hard it is to take September
straight—not as a harbinger
of something harder.

Merely like suds in the air, cool scent
scrubbed clean of meaning—or innocent
of the cold thing coldly meant.

How hard the heart tugs at the end
of summer, and longs to haul it in
when it flies out of hand

at the prompting of the first mild breeze.
It leaves us by degrees
only, but for one who sees

summer as an absolute,
Pure State of Light and Heat, the height
to which one cannot raise a doubt,

as soon as one leaf's off the tree
no day following can fall free
of the drift of melancholy.


One morning, after the snow and before the big frost, I took endless sunflower photos, again. And because it's the last of them, the last of the garden, really, I'm indulging myself and posting pretty much all of them....

These last two photos taken at about the same time with different settings on the camera.


  1. A glorious post filled with light, color and sparkling bokeh. I actually prefer my September straight..while I love the summer, autumn is my favorite season. I can feel the crisp, fresh air here!

  2. The sunflowers - oh such beauty! Thank you. I love the Gibran quote up top - cool.

  3. Thank you two. :)

    I'm trying to be present each day, but can't help thinking a tiny bit about winter, I admit it.

  4. Never enough sunflowers. Thanks for the poetry. xo

  5. My daughter commented yesterday that autumn is just a reminder that the bitter cold of winter is coming, so she doesn't like it much. I find (especially in these Indian Summer days) that I try to love autumn for itself. It smells great, the light is fabulous and until the wind or snow steals them away, the leaves look so beautiful.

  6. I look forward to the crispy mornings and evenings with the warm sunny days in Autumn. I like how the garden dries itself up and doesn't need me anymore (thank you, I say . . .). I didn't get any sunflowers this year for some reason; yours are lovely - still! Thanks for the lovely pix.

  7. I love that Rilke poem too. And those sunflowers.


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