My November Guest

My November Guest

My Sorrow, when she’s here with me,

Thinks these dark days of autumn rain

Are beautiful as days can be;

She loves the bare, the withered tree;

She walked the sodden pasture lane.

Her pleasure will not let me stay.

She talks and I am fain to list:

She’s glad the birds are gone away,

She’s glad her simple worsted gray

Is silver now with clinging mist.

The desolate, deserted trees,

The faded earth, the heavy sky,

The beauties she so truly sees,

She thinks I have no eye for these,

And vexes me for reason why.

Not yesterday I learned to know

The love of bare November days

Before the coming of the snow,

But it were vain to tell her so,

And they are better for her praise.

~ Robert Frost

I love this poem, although at the moment it is making me very homesick.

I love the descriptions of bare November days. I love the interplay between the speaker and his Sorrow.

And mostly, I love the contentedness of Sorrow.

Sorrow is a beautiful, tempering, balancing thing. Not something to be avoided, but something that can grant wisdom. Like Tolkien’s Nienna, Frost’s sorrow is peaceful, beautiful, and far-seeing.

And November is her proper month. The month where she is at rest. Where she can visit, and ease with pleasant melancholy the hurly-burly of the rest of the year.

I revel in the dark, stark days of late Autumn: gentle quiet reigns, and is for once harmonious with the atmosphere and season.

This year, I am dismayed with how non-Autumny it is. I am enduring bright, sunny days with 70 and 80 degree weather.

Which most people do consider to be perfect. I know that I am just complaining and I need to count my blessings and choose to be happy, et cetera.

But . . . I hunger for the beauty of November. That still center of the year, with faded earth and heavy sky, when Sorrow is serene.

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2 thoughts on “My November Guest

  1. This is wonderful.

    I love November, too; or at least I did, for the four years that I knew what it meant. (Texas doesn’t really believe in November either. It’s been 80 degrees this week…and the trees are only just deciding it might be time to turn various shades of yellow and brown!) It was such a stressful month, but there was always something comforting about sallying forth into the bitter air to spend an hour or two looking at the bare branches against the sky, and the winter light lingering on the bark, and feel the whole world turning into Advent…..waiting, day by slightly colder day, night by slightly longer night, for the pinpoint of fire at the heart of Christmas.

    I miss it.

  2. Pingback: Autumnal Song | Egotist's Club

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