October 18, 2010

Good morning!

I thought I’d start out today with a little beauty and nourishment for the soul - in other words, poetry. 

"When the Frost is on the Punkin"


WHEN the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock,

And you hear the kyouck and gobble of the struttin' turkey-cock,

And the clackin' of the guineys, and the cluckin' of the hens,

And the rooster's hallylooyer as he tiptoes on the fence;

O, it's then the time a feller is a-feelin' at his best,
With the risin' sun to greet him from a night of peaceful rest,

As he leaves the house, bareheaded, and goes out to feed the stock,

When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.

  
They's something kindo' harty-like about the atmusfere

When the heat of summer's over and the coolin' fall is here—
Of course we miss the flowers, and the blossoms on the trees,

And the mumble of the hummin'-birds and buzzin' of the bees;

But the air's so appetizin'; and the landscape through the haze

Of a crisp and sunny morning of the airly autumn days

Is a pictur' that no painter has the colorin' to mock—
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.

  
The husky, rusty russel of the tossels of the corn,

And the raspin' of the tangled leaves as golden as the morn;

The stubble in the furries—kindo' lonesome-like, but still

A-preachin' sermuns to us of the barns they growed to fill;
The strawstack in the medder, and the reaper in the shed;

The hosses in theyr stalls below—the clover overhead!—

O, it sets my hart a-clickin' like the tickin' of a clock,

When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.

  
Then your apples all is gethered, and the ones a feller keeps
Is poured around the cellar-floor in red and yaller heaps;

And your cider-makin's over, and your wimmern-folks is through

With theyr mince and apple-butter, and theyr souse and sausage too!...

I don't know how to tell it—but ef such a thing could be

As the angels wantin' boardin', and they'd call around on me—
I'd want to 'commodate 'em—all the whole-indurin' flock—

When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.

By James Whitcomb Riley. 1853–1916

We used this one as our poetry reading earlier this month.  I love the sounds in this one, and the dialect Riley uses.  The imagery perfectly fits Illinois in October.  It’s a great selection for kids to read out loud.  Another thing we do with very visual poems like this one is to illustrate it.  The kids love producing their own pictures, and it helps cement in their minds what the poem was about.
Also, it brings to mind the pleasures of watching nature drift into autumn.  The changing leaves are beautiful this time of year.  Have you been out to enjoy them yet?
(This selection can be found at Bartleby.com)

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