Saturday, October 03, 2015

October's Bright Blue Weather

I made this graphic from a photo my husband took in our neighborhood some years ago.
I posted about this poem a couple of years ago, but I am trying to blog every day in October on the topic of October and autumn, so I thought I would share it again.  It's not a poem that very many people nowadays would necessarily be familiar with.

My mother loved this poem, as did my husband's father.  One could expect to hear either of them  quoting from it or referring to it on a beautiful October day.

October's Bright Blue Weather
O suns and skies and clouds of June,
And flowers of June together,
Ye cannot rival for one hour
October's bright blue weather;

When loud the bumblebee makes haste,
Belated, thriftless vagrant,
And goldenrod is dying fast,
And lanes with grapes are fragrant;

When gentians roll their fingers tight
To save them for the morning,
And chestnuts fall from satin burrs
Without a sound of warning;

When on the ground red apples lie
In piles like jewels shining,
And redder still on old stone walls
Are leaves of woodbine twining;

When all the lovely wayside things
Their white-winged seeds are sowing,
And in the fields still green and fair,
Late aftermaths are growing;

When springs run low, and on the brooks,
In idle golden freighting,
Bright leaves sink noiseless in the hush
Of woods, for winter waiting;

When comrades seek sweet country haunts,
By twos and twos together,
And count like misers, hour by hour,
October's bright blue weather.

O sun and skies and flowers of June,
Count all your boasts together,
Love loveth best of all the year
October's bright blue weather. 
 ~ Helen Hunt Jackson

This poem is such an accurate description of October in New England.  It is simply beautiful.  Read the poem slowly, out loud if you can, and really picture what the poet is describing.  And you will know the beauty of a perfect October day in our region.

There were brilliant red "leaves of woodbine twining" on the the roadside stone wall near my parents' home.   And every time I read this poem I think of how my father-in-law shared his memories of his younger days.  He and his comrades frequently "sought sweet country haunts" as the poem describes.  They were true outdoors people who thought nothing of striking off through the woods to hidden places that they knew about.

May your October hold some wonderful bright blue days!


  1. Thank you for sharing this poem. I am unfamiliar with it, which is a shame because it does describe October so very well. And isn't it also a shame that so few of us know poetry by heart anymore? My grandfather was forever sharing great snatches of this or that poem when something reminded him of it. Lots of Longfellow as I recall.

  2. You are welcome, Vee! Isn't it nice that you've found the poem now, though? I have a couple more poems to share this month ... older ones, that I grew up with.

    An acquaintance of ours (in his early 70s, I think) has memorized a number of poems and continues to learn new ones. He recites them at the grange and other places -- like family gatherings and celebration of life events, and so on. It's a lost art, as you noted.


Thanks so much for stopping by to visit my kitchen table! I love company here in my kitchen, so be sure to leave a comment so I'll know you've visited! I'll answer your questions and comments here on the blog unless you request otherwise.