HAIKU AUTUMN \ AFTERWORDS

SHORTFALL

The days early down….
winter nears by degrees….no
wonder….November

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BELITTLE SHORT DAYS? NEVER IN A MILLION YEARS

Oh the days dwindle down/To a precious few…./September…./November….
And these few precious days/I’ll spend with you/These precious days/I’ll spend with
you
–Maxwell Anderson, lyricist

….and they lived….happily ever after….once upon a time….once in every lifetime….

bridge-of-dreams-near-danville-oh

 

 

 

 

 

THE IMPORTANCE OF QUOTING ERNEST

Did you fathom that the title of my last post (THE OLD MAN AND THE SEASON) was a play on Ernest Hemingway’s last completed novel, THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA? Because that post was about aging and autumn, perhaps I was remiss in not including a Hemingway quote (such as the first one below) among those I gathered for the occasion.

This post will attempt to make up for that shortfall with a selection of Hemingway quotes, starting with this autumn-appropriate eulogy he wrote for a friend:

Best of all he loved the fall/the leaves yellow on cottonwoods/leaves floating on trout streams/and above the hills/the high blue windless skies./Now he will be part of them forever.

For a long time now I have tried simply to write the best I can. Sometimes I have good luck and write better than I can.

The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.

There is nothing to writing. All you have to do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed. 

When you go to war as a boy, you have a great illusion of immortality. Other people get killed, not you… Then, when you are badly wounded, you lose that illusion, and you know it can happen to you.

In modern war, there is nothing sweet nor fitting in your dying. You will die like a dog for no good reason.

True nobility is being superior to your former self.

No weapon has ever settled a moral problem. 

Writing, at its best, is a lonely life. For he does his work alone and if he is a good enough writer he must face eternity, or the lack of it, each day.

There is no lonelier man, except the suicide, than that man who has lived with a good wife and then outlived her. If two people love each other, there can be no happy end to it.

But hold on — happy or not, this isn’t the end. The title of this post is another play on words, this being Oscar Wilde’s peerless comedy of manners titled THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST….a parody of Victorian age social standing previewed in this trailer for the 1952 film (not to be confused with the inferior 2002 remake) of the Wilde play:

Now (as the movie says when it’s over) this is THE END

THE OLD MAN AND THE SEASON

 

In the unscheduled post which appeared here on my birthday (October 18th), my youngest daughter let the cat out of the bag — her old dog of a dad had just turned certifiably ancient, though I didn’t feel more than a day older than I did on October 17 as a young pup of 79. More’s the pity. Some say age is only a number….but it goes without saying that October is autumn. Yes, if you look at the calendar, September and November lay claim to autumn as well, but let’s be clear — nobody does autumn as well as October. So this will be a post of poems and quotes about aging and autumn, in that order (age before beauty).

AGE DEPLORE(s) BEAUTY

What passed for time
Before time was invented?
Before there was time,
How was time prevented?

If time had a beginning,
When did time start?
When it’s time that time end,
How will time depart?

Why are there times
When time frustrates and vexes….
And last, why must time
Do its thing to the sexes?

THE BIG FIX

While passing through,
I noticed that
this world is too much.
What big teeth it has.
What big eyes you need.
What big talk is heard.
Speak to me.
But not big.

I OF THE BE OLDER

If you think
I take life
too seriously you

are either

a night and
day younger than
I am or

I do.

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I am so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers. –L.M. Montgomery

Listen! The wind is rising, and the air is wild with leaves;
we have had our summer evenings, now for October eves.
–Humbert Wolfe

Anyone who thinks fallen leaves are dead has never watched them dancing on a windy day. –Shira Tamir

The tints of autumn … a mighty flower garden blossoming under the spell of the enchanter frost. –John Greenleaf Whittier

For anyone who lives in the oak-and-maple area of New England, there is a perennial temptation to plunge into a purple sea of adjectives about October. –Hal Borland  

Autumn is a second spring where every leaf is a flower. –Albert Camus

Spring is too rainy and summer’s too hot;
fall is soon over and winter is not.
–Evan Esar

Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns. –George Eliot

Autumn sunsets exquisitely dying. –Langston Hughes

Now Autumn’s fire burns slowly along the woods and day by day the dead leaves fall and melt. –William Allingham

NOTE: There have been many recordings of AUTUMN LEAVES over the years; I chose the French chanteuse Edith Piaf’s version because it was originally a 1945 French song titled “Les Feuilles Mortes”  (“The Dead Leaves”), and because October (1963) is the month Edith Piaf died and drifted by the window.

 

 

 

 

EARLY AUTUMN

This is the beginning of my favorite time of year here in southwest Ohio. The cloudless, cobalt-blue skies (a cliche, but cobalt-blue is too perfect to sweat over-use) allow the sun to warm the early morning chill into the high-sixties/low-seventies by mid-afternoon; the sugar maples show the first tinges of fall color, as if teasing us with anticipitation of their full splendor to come.  As I walk out the door to retrieve the morning paper from the driveway, the crisp a.m. air is almost too invigorating, and I think this will be another good day to do….just about anything.

Anything….including work outside. But I worked outside yesterday, and though there is still more work to be done, tomorrow is  another day (and another cliche). Today — this morning, at least — I’m in a pensive mood. A writing mood. There are thoughts to be thought. Passing fancies to be pondered. Words –such as these meanderings — to be writ. Life is good.

I think of autumn songs I have known — autumn songs like they don’t make ’em like that anymore. Autumn In New York. September Song. Autumn Leaves. September In The Rain. Autumn Serenade. Songs that remain after A Faded Summer Love. Songs with lyrics by the likes of Johnny Mercer, like Early Autumn:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNcRy7PLBSc (vocal by Ella)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HrHGpzbLKec (mellow jazz instrumental)

If that suited your fancy, we must do this again sometime….like maybe next post; like maybe with another of the above songs, like maybe September Song — because its days dwindle down to a precious few.