Friday, October 17, 2014

POETRY FRIDAY: Guiterman’s Harvest Home and A Climb to the Sky

Visit Michelle at Today's Little Ditty for a spooktacular Poetry Friday Roundup!
 
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For the month of October, I am focusing on poems about fall. Here is a wonderful poem I came across awhile back by American poet Arthur Guiterman. I love Guiterman’s rich descriptions and playful use of verbs!    
 
Harvest Home
by Arthur Guiterman (1871-1943)
 
                   The maples flare among the spruces,
                   The bursting foxgrape spills its juices,
                   The gentians lift their sapphire fringes
                   On roadways rich with golden tenges,
                   The waddling woodchucks fill their hampers,
                   The deer mouse runs, the chipmunk scampers,
                   The squirrels scurry, never stopping,
                   For all they hear is apples dropping
                   And walnuts plumping fast and faster;
                   The bee weighs down the purple aster

                   Yes, hive your honey, little hummer,
                   The woods are waving, "Farewell, Summer."


Last weekend I visited friends in the mountains near Brevard, North Carolina. After a lovely drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway, we stopped near milepost 409.6 and climbed Frying Pan Lookout Tower, an old fire tower built in 1941 and now listed on the National Register of Historic places.
 
Here is a picture of the tower from way down the trail. 


Although though I am normally not afraid of heights, the prospect of climbing the tower was a bit daunting at first. But I talked myself into it and was rewarded with a stunning view of Cold Mountain and the valley below. The leaves were in the early to mid stages of their colorful fall display, and storm clouds were gathering in the distance. It was spectacular and I wouldn’t have missed it for the world!


Here is a poem I wrote that was inspired by this experience. I hope you enjoy it!

Climb to the Sky
 
I climb the tower,
October sky
Just out of my reach.
 
Miles below
Life is loud,
And often harsh.
 
But so high up
A keening wind is all I hear;
Trees and mountains sit in peaceful silence.
 
Sunlight filters through clouds
And rolls over the landscape,
Turning dying leaves into waves of autumn gold.
 
And I stand,
Gripping iron rails,
A thousand feet above it all.
 
Here is a picture of Cold Mountain from the ground.
 
I hope you have a wonderful autumn weekend! Happy Friday, and happy writing!

17 comments:

  1. Love your photos! Looks like a great trip. "Harvest Home" sounds wonderful read out loud. In your poem, I particularly like the keening wind and peaceful silence and this stanza: "Sunlight filters through clouds/And rolls over the landscape,/Turning dying leaves into waves of autumn gold."

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  2. Becky, you found fall at Cold Mountain. I am in awe of the photography and only wish we had that type of an experience on Long Island. May I use your photos and poem for the Finding Fall Gallery? I think the readers will be captivated by your words and images.

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    1. Carol, I would be delighted to share my poem and photo in your Finding Fall Gallery! Thanks so much!

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  3. What a view! You captured it beautifully in your poem and photos, Becky. I really enjoyed the playful "Harvest Home" as well.

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    1. Thank you, Michelle! And thanks again for hosting Poetry Friday this week!

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  4. What a great experience! You put me up there on that tower with you, with these words:

    Miles below
    Life is loud,
    And often harsh.

    But so high up
    A keening wind is all I hear;

    Thanks for the photo too, and the Guiterman poem... He makes rhyming look like a lot of fun -- and so effortless!

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    1. Thank you, Violet! I agree-Guiterman is a master rhymer! = )

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  5. Becky,
    I loved your poem and the whole experience. I'd be gripping rails too! We have family in Brevard but I've never heard of this lookout tower. Thanks for sharing. I'm not sure I'm brave enough to climb it, but I'd love to see the view. Thanks for sharing photos.

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    1. Linda, the view from the bottom of the tower is spectacular, too! Anywhere on the Parkway is great. We ate lunch at the Pisgah Inn and it was amazing!!!

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  6. What a view! And we visited an apple orchard yesterday & saw so many dropped apples on the ground. I bet all those critters above would have loved it!

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    1. I hope you enjoyed the orchard, Leandra! This is the first year we haven't taken the boys to pick apples since we moved to the Carolinas. Maybe this weekend--but all the apples will be on the ground here, too!

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  7. Wow, Becky! "Turning dying leaves into waves of autumn gold" - beautiful. =)

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  8. What a great view! Love your poem :)

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