One of my favorite online sites is The Athenaeum, which has over 100,000 works of art for you to browse. I found the painting above, which is perfect for today. It's by Bertha Wegmann, a Danish woman who lived 1847 to 1926. Here's a short video of Wegmann's work; it also includes a photo of her at the end.
My poem for today is inspired by Wegmann's painting and informed by my having lived in New Hampshire for 37 years:
The Last Greeting of Autumn
In the transitory days of October
she combs the verges of her
stone walls like a wayward crow.
She picks Goldenrod, blue tufted
Chicory, red berries of Purple
Nightshade, Sumac the color
of cinnabar, and, Daisy Fleabane.
She takes her time, only cutting
herbage barely touched by the
increasingly cold crisping winds.
For interest she selects tall,
feathery, Indian grass, the wide
leaves of Fox Grape, and lacy
Wild Carrot. Her neighbor's Catalpa
yields a handful of twisting pods.
She places these remnants of two
seasons, in a vase, near the door.
Unlike the crow, she takes no
nourishment from her gleanings--
unless you consider the pleasure
it gives her as days grow shorter.
The arrangement grows brown and
slowly fades in the moistureless
heat from aging radiators. Still,
it will remain for months--through
times when all colors but gray
and white have disappeared from
the world outside. It will be there
to greet the next equinox and then,
undoubtedly, will end up as compost.
© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.
The Round-Up today is being held at TeacherDance, and next Friday it will be right here! See you then!