October Musings

Although the days have been uncharacteristically summery, we’ve finally had an October shower followed by an uncertain sky, which evokes a few lines of Basho I love.

 

It was early in October when the sky was terribly uncertain that I decided to set out on a journey. I could not help feeling vague misgivings about the future of my journey, as I watched the fallen leaves of autumn being carried away by the wind.

From this day forth
I shall be called a wanderer,
Leaving on a journey
Thus among the early showers.

You will again sleep night after night
Nestled among the flowers of sasanqua.

And some seasonal mums from Dumbarton Oaks. dsc_0063

Commonplace Book: October in Poetry

Some verse for a blustery start to October, as the mid-Atlantic hopes to be spared the wrath of Hurricane Joaquin.

October

by Don Thompson

I used to think the land
had something to say to us,
back when wildflowers
would come right up to your hand
as if they were tame.

 

Sooner or later, I thought,
the wind would begin to make sense
if I listened hard
and took notes religiously.
That was spring.

 

Now I’m not so sure:
the cloudless sky has a flat affect
and the fields plowed down after harvest
seem so expressionless,
keeping their own counsel.

 

This afternoon, nut tree leaves
blow across them
as if autumn had written us a long letter,
changed its mind,
and tore it into little scraps.

The Barricades of October

Clear Autumn in the Mountains of Chu
Clear Autumn in the Mountains of Chu by Mi Youren

Back to poetry and music, to wit: a couple of things in an October mood:

First, an excerpt from Basho’s “The Records of a Travel-worn Satchel”–a travel book with haiku.

It was early in October when the sky was terribly uncertain that I decided to set out on a journey. I could not help feeling vague misgivings about the future of my journey, as I watched the fallen leaves of autumn being carried away by the wind.

From this day forth
I shall be called a wanderer,
Leaving on a journey
Thus among the early showers.

You will again sleep night after night
Nestled among the flowers of sasanqua.

And second, a reprise of a bit of Couperin that I’ve posted before, (not sure why this strikes me as autumnal, maybe because of its evocative melody?) “The Mysterious Barricades.”  Here is a good performance and an explanation of the enigmatic title from Philippe Radault.
Philippe Radault

The nights are finally cool in Washington, and the leaves are turning.