Poetisches Leben | Poetic Living

For if it is not poetic…


“There is little or nothing to be remembered on the subject of getting an honest living. Neither the New Testament nor Poor Richard speaks to our condition. I cannot think of a single page which entertains, much less answers, the questions which I put to myself on this subject. How to make the getting our living poetic!  For if it is not poetic, it is not life but death that we get.”

~Henry David Thoreau, 1850

Cultured Wednesday: The Springtime Days of the Round Table

A glorious company, the flower of men, /
To serve as model for the mighty world, /
And be the fair beginning of a time.

In Lord Alfred Tennysson‘s Idylls of the King, we have a wonderfully romantic retelling of the ancient tale of the King, with everything you expect to find.

round table
La Quête du Graal: Arrivée de Galaad à la cour Milan, vers 1380-1385. Copié par Albertolus de Porcelis

In old age, Arthur recalled the springtime days of the Round Table and the hopes of glory with which he had begun. 

But I was first of all the kings who drew
The knighthood-errant of this realm and all
The realms together under me, their Head,
In that fair Order of my Table Round,
A glorious company, the flower of men,
To serve as model for the mighty world,
And be the fair beginning of a time.
I made them lay their hands in mine and swear
To reverence the King, as if he were
Their conscience, and their conscience as their King,
To break the heathen and uphold the Christ,
To ride abroad redressing human wrongs,
To speak no slander, no, nor listen to it,
To honour his own word as if his God’s,
To lead sweet lives in purest chastity,
To love one maiden only, cleave to her,
And worship her by years of noble deeds,
Until they won her; for indeed I knew
Of no more subtle master under heaven
Than is the maiden passion for a maid,
Not only to keep down the base in man,
But teach high thought, and amiable words
And courtliness, and the desire of fame,
And love of truth, and all that makes a man.

If you are interested in the Arthurian legend, you might find The Camelot Project of the University of Rochester to be of interest.

August Is Here!

Sweet August doth appear!

Welcome to the Harvest Month!

Fairest of months!  ripe Summer’s Queen
The hey-day of the year
With robes that gleam with sunny sheen,
Sweet August doth appear.

~ Rev. Combe Miller (1745–1814)

Have a look at the August sky.  We took the picture from a post on The Old Farmer’s Almanac.


They also provided this printable sky map, just in case you want it on paper so you can take it outside when you go star gazing.  Don’t you love star gazing?  We sure do!

edith august cropped


Edith Holden loved August flowers, but she also mentions the dark side of August, primarily the thunderstorms.  The poem below closes her chapter on August in her “Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady“, and it is a sad one indeed.  Our oldest daughter loved it, and so she typed it out for y’all to enjoy:

Golden Rowan of Menolowan
‘She lived where the mountains go down to the sea,

And river and tide confer,
Golden Rowan of Menolowan,
Was the name they gave to her.

She had the soul no circumstance,
Can hurry or defer,
Golden Rowan of Menolowan,
How time stood still for her!

Her playmates for their lovers grew,
But that shy wanderer,
Golden Rowan of Menolowan,
Knew love was not for her.

Hers was the love of wilding things,
To hear a squirrel chirr,
In the golden rowan of Menolowan
Was joy enough for her.

She sleeps on the hill with the lonely sun,
Where in the days that were,
The golden rowan of Menolowan,
So often shadowed her.

The scarlet fruit will come to fill,
The scarlet spray to stir,
The golden rowan of Menolowan,
And wake no dream for her.

Only the wind is over her grave,
For mourner and comforter,
And ‘Golden Rowan of Menolowan”
Is all we know of her. 

by Bliss Carmen (1861 – 1929)

It appears as though Mr. Carman, whose name dear Edith seems to have misspelled, was a true poet who loved poetry for the sake of its beauty, and did not sacrifice his talent on the altar of Mammon.  It was said about him that “he never attempted to secure his income by novel writing, popular journalism, or non-literary employment.  He remained a poet, supplementing his art with critical commentaries on literary ideas, philosophy, and aesthetics.”  And reading tours, it would seem.

The other two girls just found “Tiny Toad” – look, isn’t she the cutest little thing?  She’s not much bigger than my thumbnail!


Lastly, our maple and sour gum trees are producing some pretty, colorful leaves already.  Featured is a picture of a maple leaf one of our girls found and took today.


July, by Susan Hartley Swett

When the silver note in the streamlet’s throat /
Has softened almost to a sigh, /
It’s July.


by Susan Hartley Swett

When the scarlet cardinal tells
Her dream to the dragonfly,
And the lazy breeze makes a nest in the trees,
And murmurs a lullaby,
It’s July.

When the tangled cobweb pulls
The cornflower’s cap awry,
And the lilies tall lean over the wall
To bow to the butterfly,
It’s July.

When the heat like a mist veil floats,
And poppies flame in the rye,
And the silver note in the streamlet’s throat
Has softened almost to a sigh,
It’s July.

When the hours are so still that time
Forgets them, and lets them lie
Underneath petals pink till the night stars wink
At the sunset in the sky,
It’s July.

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