Ambiguous Autumn: Grey

Autumn soothes me – with its calming greys , its sheltering fogs. This is a season that knows how to reflect about time passing. A season slowly ‘withering into truth’.

Come autumn so pensive, in yellow and grey

And soothe me with tidings of Nature’s decay (1)

Ah the wisdom of the catholic church, to schedule days of mourning, days of remembrance.

Waking on a 1st of November, one can feel the stillness of a foggy day. Such exquisite relief – this stillness. And looking out of the window, one drinks in the hues of greys dappled with the soft yellow of twirling leaves.

I confess I now love Sundays (and all Catholic holidays) – once I dreaded their boredom, now I gladly surrender to their repose, their official release from all practical duties. No Saturday shopping, no Weekday toiling. No useful activities, no brooding about practical survival. (2)

Memory, memory, what do you want of me? Autumn

makes the thrush fly through colourless air,

and the sun casts a monotonous glare

on the yellowing woods where the north winds hum.(3)

But in fact - most autumn poems are too languorously melancholy to my taste - because, frankly, I find the season exhilarating – the wetness, the greyness, the fogginess, the seeping cold – I revel more in them than in the most sprightly Spring.
Yes, in Autumn I feel quite literally in “my element” .

And I go

Where the winds know,

Broken and brief,

To and fro,

As the winds blow

A dead leaf. (4)

Falling Notes
(1) Robert Burns
(2) a propos Sundays: since there are Sunday painters and Sunday writers, it should not come as a surprise there are also Sunday bloggers.
(3) Paul Verlaine ; Nevermore (Poèmes Saturniens: Mélancholia II)
Souvenir, souvenir, que me veux-tu ? L'automne
Faisait voler la grive à travers l'air atone,
Et le soleil dardait un rayon monotone
Sur le bois jaunissant où la bise détone. translation
(4) Paul Verlaine ; Chanson d’automne,(English translation: Arthur Symons)
Et je m'en vais
Au vent mauvais
Qui m'emporte
Deçà, delà,
Pareil à la
Feuille morte.


Roxana said...

and I could have bet you were also an autumn devotee :-)
your posts have touched me beyond words. and the pictures... you know, I don't think I've got any bw/grey autumn pictures, only you (or antonia) could manage such a thing!

Antonia said...

i love your footnote nerdularity, this is an art itself. Do you know this book: "The Footnote: A Curious History" by Anthony Grafton?

ffflaneur said...

roxana - :-) thanks so much for publicly exposing me as an autumn devotee (such lovely expression!)

ffflaneur said...

oh A - how do you always know these wonderful books? googled it & have been drooling over this review , full of quotes I should one day hide in a footnote! "The weapon of pedants, the scourge of undergraduates, the bête noire of the "new" liberated scholar: the lowly footnote, long the refuge of the minor and the marginal, emerges in this book as a singular resource"

The Footnote brings what is so often relegated to afterthought and marginalia to its rightful place in the center of the literary life of the mind. "