In which I was once an English major...

Once upon a time, I went to college and got a degree. In English, of all things. (And yes, I realize the last sentence is a fragment. It's called "poetic license.") I did not, however, get an education certification (yep, bad call), so I have never in fact used my degree for much.....

....UNTIL NOW! (Dum dum dummmm!)

My major exposed me to some great literature and poetry. I miss talking about it and writing about it (I know - what kind of wierdo misses writing English papers???). Therefore, I will occasionally be sharing some favorites with you here. So without further ado, here is today's selection in celebration of my favorite season:

"When the Frost Is on the Punkin"
by James Whitcomb Riley

WHEN the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock,
And you hear the kyouck and gobble of the struttin' turkey-cock,
And the clackin' of the guineys, and the cluckin' of the hens,
And the rooster's hallylooyer as he tiptoes on the fence;
O, it's then the time a feller is a-feelin' at his best,
With the risin' sun to greet him from a night of peaceful rest,
As he leaves the house, bareheaded, and goes out to feed the stock,
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.

They's something kindo' harty-like about the atmusfere
When the heat of summer's over and the coolin' fall is here—
Of course we miss the flowers, and the blossoms on the trees,
And the mumble of the hummin'-birds and buzzin' of the bees;
But the air's so appetizin'; and the landscape through the haze
Of a crisp and sunny morning of the airly autumn days
Is a pictur' that no painter has the colorin' to mock—
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.

The husky, rusty russel of the tossels of the corn,
And the raspin' of the tangled leaves as golden as the morn;
The stubble in the furries—kindo' lonesome-like, but still
A-preachin' sermuns to us of the barns they growed to fill;
The strawstack in the medder, and the reaper in the shed;
The hosses in theyr stalls below—the clover overhead!—
O, it sets my hart a-clickin' like the tickin' of a clock,
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.

Then your apples all is gethered, and the ones a feller keeps
Is poured around the cellar-floor in red and yaller heaps;
And your cider-makin's over, and your wimmern-folks is through
With theyr mince and apple-butter, and theyr souse and sausage too!...
I don't know how to tell it—but ef such a thing could be
As the angels wantin' boardin', and they'd call around on me—
I'd want to 'commodate 'em—all the whole-indurin' flock—
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.

No frost on this papier-mâché punkin, but oh well...

Happy fall!



  1. Beth, I love this!!! Much of true "Americana" writing, art, thought, etc, seems forgotten, or perhaps, ignored these days. I want to share this with my Canadian friends, so if you see a FB reference to your blog, don't be surprised! :-)

    Fyi, an English major at heart, I opted for a Liberal Arts degree, since it took me 30 years to compile all my requirements. Nevertheless, I feel a bit daunted when writing on your blog and Carrie's, because I break all the grammar rules! Please look past my faulty phrases, and know how much I love reading your posts and perusing your art!
    Thanks again!

  2. Sometimes I think I should have gone with one of my two childhood career dreams instead of an English/PR/Journalism major: archaeologist or riding around on the back of a garbage truck. :-)

    And by the way...you had me a "punkin"... ;-)


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