Monday, October 17, 2011

October Wind

Cleaning up my office and picked up my copy of Terraces of Light by Pulitzer Prize (1938) winning poet, Marya Zaturenska. A short poem, October Wind caught my attention and gave me pause to consider what is happening now.
The October wind has blown
On the fresh fields, the virgin land:
There the crisp river runs
And the air is full of change.
Man reaps what he has sown.

Gold and red the waving trees
In the autumnal weather;
Your feet lag in the long walk
You take in the forever.
The cold end is manifest
in the brilliant trees, the falling leaves.
The hesitant birds have flown.
Man reaps what he has sown.

Of one who neither cares or sees
You dream and weep
For nature's old felicities
Tumbled in iron sleep:
That body blooms deep underground
Nor needs your teas; such beauty, power,
Such lyric pathos lingers where
His spirit climbs time's moving stair
With active limbs and living hair.
Though all is change where the wind has blown--
Man must reap what he has sown.

What is that October Wind in this age? I first read Zaturenska when this was first published, I was in college and Dylan was reminding us that the Times, They are a-Changin'. Could Occupy Wall Street, or wherever, be that wind? If not, then Zaturenska's cold wind is surely manifest, though it may be from a very hot climate. What I take away from this reading is that "all is change where the wind has blown--" and it is folly to try to live according to old patterns. We have yet to reap what we have sown... that is a bit of what OWS is all about. There will be a new normal and we may not like it unless we shape ourselves to live in that world.


Alex Walker said...

Very nice and very thoughtful. I am going to share this.

Wes said...

Thanks, Alex. I saw your facebook entry.

Ross Levin said...

Wes - I want to talk to you about something. I know you're interested, for lack of a better word, in water issues in Northern California. Recently I met someone who's involved with a business setting up a water trading scheme in California. I want to talk to you about this - my email is