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Monday, 12 March 2012


Suddenly this morning you knew that autumn was here. Nothing dramatic, a slight chill in the air, and it was as if the leaves on the trees had changed somehow. Most of them are still green with individuals and clumps turning yellow. Every now and then one would let go and drift to the ground, every gust of wind shook of a few more. Soon it will be the norm as flurries of leaves fall.

Above autumn morning in the Clarence district of the Free State Province of South Africa. One of the few places in South Africa where you can see autumn in it's dramatic beauty.

Autumn By Roy Campbell.

I love to see, when leaves depart,
The clear anatomy arrive,
Winter, the paragon of art,
That kills all forms of life and feeling
Save what is pure and will survive.

Already now the clanging chains
Of geese are harnessed to the moon:
Stripped are the great sun-clouding planes:
And the dark pines, their own revealing,
Let in the needles of the noon.

Strained by the gale the olives whiten
Like hoary wrestlers bent with toil
And, with the vines, their branches lighten
To brim our vats where summer lingers
In the red froth and sun-gold oil.

Soon on our hearth's reviving pyre
Their rotted stems will crumble up:
And like a ruby, panting fire,
The grape will redden on your fingers
Through the lit crystal of the cup.

Roy Campbell, South African poet, 1902 - 1957.


Jo said...

Hi Phil, it's 2.36 am here in Tz; I'm making good use of my Internet while it lasts. (I've gotten up early not stayed up late - I can't do that) If you ever want to have a WONDERFUL weekend, sign up for a photographic course in Clarence. You can see the details in Country Life magazine. I photographed the most amazing autumn foliage there at the end of April 2007. Jo

Susie Swanson said...

This is such a beautiful post and the poem as well..thank you for sharing..Susie