Thursday, October 01, 2009

`In Burnt October, Brown'

October, not upstart April, is the true Poetry Month, as I’ve demonstrated before, though the explanation remains elusive. Long, cold January nights seem no more conducive to conceiving poets than plumbers or osteopaths. Here are more poets born in October:

Fulke Greville: Oct. 3, 1554
Yvor Winters: Oct. 17, 1900
Leigh Hunt: Oct. 19, 1784
Alphonse De Lamartine: Oct. 21, 1790

And additional honorary October poets to join the previously inducted Flann O’Brien:

P.G. Wodehouse: Oct. 15, 1881
Italo Calvino: Oct. 15, 1923
A.J. Liebling: Oct. 18, 1904
Ivan Turgenev: Oct. 28, 1818
James Boswell: Oct. 29, 1740
Henry Green: Oct. 29, 1905

Guy Davenport, born Nov. 23, 1927, arrived three weeks too late to be an October poet, but savor this passage from the “Fire, October, Eyes” section of his book-length poem Flowers and Leaves (1966):

“In burnt October, brown, in the fourteenth day,
Beyond the fields in the wash of river wind,
The trees, deeper green, yellower and redder,
Cool and sweeten Ohio’s villages with leaves,
And apples ripe in the orchards and trellised grapes,
Late bees in buckwheat drone and the world is rust.
The sky is transparent after rain. Now from the field
Father comes at the daughter’s call. Come to the entry
Mother, to the front door, come. Come.
Under parting smoke, quiet with fear, Jackson
To his captains said, Give them then the bayonet.”

Davenport dedicated the book to the American composer Charles Ives, born Oct. 20, 1874, Rimbaud’s 20th birthday.

1 comment:

Buce said...

"Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness." The tour office at Winchester understands: