Thursday, September 19, 2013

To Autumn

Fall retains the air of fresh beginnings.
"To Autumn" is a poem written by English Romantic poet John Keats (October 31, 1795 -February 23 ,1821). The work was composed on September 19, 1819 and published in 1820 in a volume of Keats's poetry. It was the final work in a group of poems known as Keats's "1819 odes."  
"To Autumn" has been regarded by critics as one of the most perfect short poems in the English language.
Although personal problems left him little time to devote to poetry in 1819, he composed "To Autumn" after a walk near Winchester one autumnal evening. The work marks the end of his poetic career, as he needed to earn money and could no longer devote himself to the lifestyle of a poet. A little over a year following the publication of "To Autumn", Keats died in Rome.

The poem has three eleven-line stanzas which describe a progression through the season, from the late maturation of the crops to the harvest and to the last days of autumn when winter is nearing. 
To Autumn
John Keats

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep,
Drows'd with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.

Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,--
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

Grilled Cheese with Apple and Ham Sandwiches
Cook's notes: This recipe can be made using a  panini grill maker or a fry pan 
  • hearty grain bread
  • slices of deli ham
  • honey mustard
  • sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 Granny Smith apple cut into slices 
  • On one side of bread spread honey mustard
  • Add cheese, 2 apple slices and ham
  • Top with other piece of bread
  • Bake till cheese is melted

Here is another optional meal serving roasted pepper and tomato soup with a ham-cheese-apple panini sandwich. Instead of using honey mustard try cranberry honey mustard. The soup can be found at Costco and Trader's Joes. Be sure to try cornbread croutons. 

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