Sunday, October 2, 2011

Fallen Giants

It seems that the Monsters of yore have been slain. Not to worry, I am not talking about the neighbor's children! :) No, this morning I woke up to find one of the Love-lies-bleeding sleeping behind the Buddha. Its stalk bent in two and its leaves wilted, the pom-poms shedding tiny grains that the Thai use as a spice. Although I only had these beauties in fine form for only one day, I appreciated them enough for weeks worth of carnations. Everything is always, always changing.

Remi and I were invited to a dinner party yesterday evening. Our host had just returned from a business trip to the United States where he had purchased a book on Autumn in New England. Oh, those glorious colors made me so homesick! On one of the first pages was an Emily Dickinson poem, that although it has been read a hundred times, never loses its appropriateness for this time of year...

As imperceptibly as Grief
The Summer lapsed away—
Too imperceptible at last
To seem like Perfidy—
A Quietness distilled
As Twilight long begun,
Or Nature spending with herself
Sequestered Afternoon—
The Dusk drew earlier in—
The Morning foreign shone—
A courteous, yet harrowing Grace,
As Guest, that would be gone—
And thus, without a Wing
Or service of a Keel
Our Summer made her light escape
Into the Beautiful. 


  1. Hello Heather:
    Yes, all around there are the undeniable signs that summer has given sway to autumn and our days of sunshine are numbered.

    The Emily Dickinson poem does, in these few lines, capture the essence of the turning of the year. And, although we have never seen New England, we are sure that its beauty at this particular time of year is unsurpassed.

  2. Pull Ben's tail??? Go after the neighbors "monsters"! Poor Ben, Dylan won't let anyone except me touch his crowning glory, I call it his freak flag and he waves it proudly. Yes autumn is upon us slowly but surely as Emily has pointed out, love this poem. Autumn in all its richness of colors of orange, red, yellow and colors in-between. I get up early and the light is no longer showing itself until Dylan stirs but only a few short months and the days will start getting longer. Enjoy your book New Hampshire is voted as having the best fall foliage year after year for a reason it's glorious!

  3. Yes, so it seems my dear Jane and Lance, so let's soak up all that remains!

    And Debra, I said "tried" to pull Ben's tail--oh my, I lit into them! I doubt they will try that again. I would love to see some photos of chez vous on your blog...please?

  4. Hi Heather - back from London and catching up!! It is indeed starting to feel like fall here but everything is still very green. I love the changing colors and that classic poem! Hope all is well with you - I'll have to go back and see what's been happening with you, Remi & Ben!!

  5. Fall is in the air indeed and I am loving it!!Wonderful poem.


    Art by Karena

  6. Hello Q! Missed you and was fascinated by your first London post, as was Remi. I think that the 3D printing is something important for the future.
    Read about it here at:

    Karena, I hope that the shift in weather is inspiring you in all that you do!

  7. I may just be sacrilegious and change the last 2 lines...

    Our Summer made her light escape
    Into the waiting arms of Australia.

    For it always seems to me, that summer does indeed have a personality, sometimes gentle and giving, sometimes burning and tempestuous, but personality she does have in spades. And always, at the end of summer, I go for a walk on the beach and farewell her away to the other hemisphere, for safe keeping till she returns to us once more with waiting and grateful arms.

    Now then, though, does Provence not have lots of deciduous trees to provide the glorious autumn colours? I am thinking of elms and French oaks - but don't they have rich colours? In Australia, I love to dash off to Canberra if I can in the autumn, as it is heavily planted with American maples (because the city was designed by the American Walter Burley Griffin and his wife Marion Mahoney - brilliant architects who were, sadly, a little out of their depth in town planning but that's another story...)

    Traveling through New England in autumn has been on my "must do" list for a jolly long time!

    And as for the love lies bleeding... well I have a massive dislike of artificial flowers largely because the beauty of a flower is, I think, all wrapped up with its temporary hold on life, which makes it all the more precious. Virginia xx

  8. How beautiful. My favourite is "To Autumn" by John Keats. Although, I am a long way from Autumn. Trying to enjoy Spring, although it's raining & quite windy in Sydney...

    ~ Clare x

  9. Hello my brilliant Australian ladies! :)

    Virginia, this particular part of Provence is extremely dry and rocky. The countryside is largely garrigue--a scrub of rosemary, thyme, prickly things. We do have chestnut trees in Arles but they don't change. However the Luberon can be gorgeous at this time of year--we just need a cold snap to set things in motion. And as we are still, amazingly having summer temps, I don't know if that will happen! And the Love-lies-bleeding are alive! Well, not for much longer, but they aren't plastic. :)

    And merci Clare, I haven't read Keats in far too long. I'll look it up pronto. Have some good tea to stay warm!

  10. Hi Heather I really related to this post, I think there is something about the seasons that correspond directly with thoughts of previous homes. I feel dreadfully homesick when I see some images of Britain; crisp Autumnal days or winter snow blanketing the Yorkshire dales, even rain in London, some feelings and atmospheres can never be recreated somewhere else. But we do recreate new ones in our new homes.

    That is beautiful poem which captures Summers end perfectly.

  11. Dash, that is so perfectly said--as globalized as we all have become, there are places that are still our own. Certain times and places that catch our heart. Admittedly, I am always very sentimental at this time of year as all of my recent posts show!


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