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November

Nov 8, 2019

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Spring's wakening bugle long is hushed,
Long dimm'd is Summer's splendour;
October yields her easel bright
To "black and white" November!
~James Rigg, "November," Wild Flower Lyrics and Other Poems, 1897


I have come to regard November as the older, harder man's October. I appreciate the early darkness and cooler temperatures. It puts my mind in a different place than October. It is a month for a quieter, slightly more subdued celebration of summer's death as winter tightens its grip. ~Henry Rollins, "Empowerment Through Libraries," November 2013, LA Weekly


How sad would be November if we had no knowledge of the spring! ~Edwin Way Teale, Circle of the Seasons, 1953


October's foliage yellows with his cold:
In rattling showers dark November's rain,
From every stormy cloud, descends amain,
Till keen December's snows close up the year again.
~John Ruskin, "The Months," c.1834


November, n. The eleventh twelfth of a weariness. ~ Ambrose Bierce (1842–c.1914), The Devil's Dictionary


The wild November comes at last
Beneath a veil of rain,
The night wind blows its folds aside—
Her face is full of pain.
The latest of her race, she takes
The Autumn's vacant throne;
She has but one short moon to live,
And she must live alone.
~R.H. Stoddard (1825–1903), "November," c.1863


A barren realm of withered fields,
Bleak woods, and falling leaves,
The palest morns that ever dawned;
The dreariest of eves.
It is no wonder that she comes,
Poor month! with tears of pain;
For what can one so hopeless do
But weep, and weep again.
~R.H. Stoddard (1825–1903), "November," c.1863


Fear not November's challenge bold—
We've books and friends,
And hearths that never can grow cold:
These make amends!
~Alexander L. Fraser (1870–1954), "November," c.1918


The world is tired, the year is old,
The faded leaves are glad to die...
~Sara Teasdale, "November"


That soft autumnal time...
The woodland foliage now
Is gathered by the wild November blast...
~John Howard Bryant (1807-1902), "The Indian Summer"


And November sad,—a psalm
Tender, trustful, full of balm,
Thou must breathe in spirits calm.
~Caroline May, 1887

Anne, sitting at her tower window one late November evening, with her pen at her lip and dreams in her eyes, looked out on a twilight world and suddenly thought she would like a walk to the old graveyard. She had never visited it yet, preferring the birch and maple grove or the harbor road for her evening rambles. But there is always a November space after the leaves have fallen when she felt it was almost indecent to intrude on the woods…for their glory terrestrial had departed and their glory celestial of spirit and purity and whiteness had not yet come upon them. ~Lucy Maud Montgomery (1874–1942), Anne of Windy Poplars, 1936


November woods are bare and still;
November days are clear and bright;
Each noon burns up the morning's chill;
The morning's snow is gone by night...
November woods are bare and still;
November days are bright and good;
Life's noon burns up life's morning chill;
Life's night rests feet which long have stood...
~Helen Fiske Hunt Jackson (1830–1885), "Down to Sleep."


Judith stood before her little library in the dark November dawn, with a candle in her hand, scanning the familiar titles with weary eyes.... these last few days she had taken to waking at dawn, to lying for hours wide-eyed in her little white bed, while the slow day grew. But to‑day it was intolerable, she could bear it no longer.... She would try a book; not a very hopeful remedy in her own opinion, but one which [those] who were troubled by sleeplessness, regarded, she knew, as the best thing under the circumstances. ~Amy Levy (1861–1889), Reuben Sachs: A Sketch, 1888


Cosy fire a-burning bright,—
Cosy tables robed in white,—
Dainty dishes smoking hot,—
Home! And cold and snow forgot!
~Louise Bennett Weaver and Helen Cowles LeCron, "November," A Thousand Ways to Please a Husband with Bettina's Best Recipes, 1917


...When shriek'd
The bleak November winds, and smote the woods,
And the brown fields were herbless, and the shades,
That met above the merry rivulet,
Were spoil'd, I sought, I loved them still,—they seem'd
Like old companions in adversity.
~William Cullen Bryant, "A Winter Piece"


peering from some high
window;at the gold
of november sunset
(and feeling:that if day
has to become night
this is a beautiful way)
~e.e. cummings ["who are you,little i (five or six years old)" written at age sixty-seven —tεᖇᖇg]


"November is the most disagreeable month in the whole year," said Margaret, standing at the window one dull afternoon, looking out at the frost-bitten garden.
"That's the reason I was born in it," observed Jo pensively...
~Louisa May Alcott, Little Women, 1868


In rough October
Earth must disrobe her;
Stars fall and shoot
In keen November;
And night is long
And cold is strong
In bleak December.
~Christina G. Rossetti (1830–1894), Sing-Song: A Nursery Rhyme Book, 1872


We seldom think of November in terms of beauty or any other specially satisfying tribute. November is simply that interval between colorful and dark December. Then, nearly every year, come a few November days of clear, crisp weather that makes one wonder why November seldom gets its due.
There is the November sky, clean of summer dust, blown clear this day of the urban smog that so often hazes autumn....
There is the touch of November in the air, chill enough to have a slight tang, like properly aged cider. Not air that caresses, nor yet air that nips. Air that makes one breathe deeply and think of spring water and walk briskly.
~Hal Borland, November 1970


All Nature mourns, I said; November wild
Hath torn the fairest pages from her book.
~Albert Laighton (1829–1887), "In the Woods," c.1859


Even when November's sun is low
And Winter flaps his fleecy wings,
Thy gold among his silvery snow
A solace in the sadness brings.
~James Rigg, "To the Corn Marigold," Wild Flower Lyrics and Other Poems, 1897


Fallen leaves lying on the grass in the November sun bring more happiness than daffodils. Spring is a call to action, hence to disillusion, therefore is April called "the cruellest month." Autumn is the mind's true Spring; what is there we have, "quidquid promiserat annus" and it is more than we expected. ~Cyril Connolly, The Unquiet Grave, 1944 [Originally published under the pseudonym Palinurus. Translation of the Latin phrase: Before our eyes stood all the promise of the year. —tεᖇᖇg]


November gave her scented sprigs
Of Spruce and Larch and Pine...
~James Rigg, "The Progress of Queen Flora, Adorned by a Hundred Wild Flowers," Wild Flower Lyrics and Other Poems, 1897


The drifting clouds are dark and drear,
The blossoms die of cold and fear,
The wild wind mourns the fading year,
And winter threatens near.
~Elizabeth Chase Akers Allen (1832–1911), "November," c.1864


November comes
And November goes,
With the last red berries
And the first white snows.
With night coming early,
And dawn coming late,
And ice in the bucket
And frost by the gate.
The fires burn
And the kettles sing,
And earth sinks to rest
Until next spring.
~Elizabeth Coatsworth (1893–1986)


Autumn, I love thy parting look to view
In cold November's day, so bleak and bare,
When, thy life's dwindled thread worn nearly thro',
With ling'ring, pott'ring pace, and head bleach'd bare,
Thou, like an old man, bidd'st the world adieu.
~John Clare (1793–1864), "Written in November"


She stands
In tattered gold
Tossing bits of amber
And jade, jewels of a year grown old:
November.
~Zephyr Ware Tarver (1886–1974), "A Queen Makes an Exit," Arizona Highways, November 1971


November is usually such a disagreeable month…as if the year had suddenly found out that she was growing old and could do nothing but weep and fret over it. This year is growing old gracefully…just like a stately old lady who knows she can be charming even with gray hair and wrinkles. We've had lovely days and delicious twilights. This last fortnight has been so peaceful.... How quiet the woods are to‑day…not a murmur except that soft wind purring in the treetops! It sounds like surf on a faraway shore. ~Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Avonlea, 1909


So dull and dark are the November days.
The lazy mist high up the evening curled,
And now the morn quite hides in smoke and haze;
The place we occupy seems all the world.
~John Clare (1793–1864), "November"


There is no color in the world,
No lovely tint on hill or plain;
The summer's golden sails are furled,
And sadly falls the autumn rain.
~Celia Laighton Thaxter (1835–1894), "November," c.1871


The Earth lies tacitly beneath,
As it were dead to joy or pain:
It does not move, it does not breathe...
And all my heart is patient too,
I wait till it shall wake again;
The songs of spring shall sound anew,
Though sadly falls the autumn rain.
~Celia Laighton Thaxter (1835–1894), "November," c.1871


The month of November makes me feel that life is passing more quickly. In an effort to slow it down, I try to fill the hours more meaningfully. ~Henry Rollins, "Empowerment Through Libraries," November 2013, LA Weekly


Dull November brings the blast,
Then the leaves are whirling fast.
~Sara Coleridge, "The Months," Pretty Lessons In Verse, For Good Children; With Some Lessons in Latin, In Easy Rhyme, 1834


How cold it is! Even the lights are cold;
They have put shawls of fog around them, see!
....What a silver night!
~Sara Teasdale (1884–1933), "A November Night," c.1916


Hark you such sound as quivers? Kings will hear,
As kings have heard, and tremble on their thrones;
The old will feel the weight of mossy stones;
The young alone will laugh and scoff at fear...
Who fell, ah! long ago, in futile wars;
It is such sound as death; and, after all,
'T is but the forest letting dead leaves fall.
~Mahlon Leonard Fisher (1874–1947), "November," c.1917


Shout now! The months, with loud acclaim,
Take up the cry and send it forth;
May, breathing, sweet her Spring perfumes,
November thundering from the North.
~J.K. Hoyt (1820–1895), "The Meeting of the Months," c.1882


It is November. The noons are more
laconic and the sundowns sterner.
November always seemed to me
the Norway of the year...
~Emily Dickinson, "The Winter Garden" [This is actually not a true Dickinson poem but has been created by Lewis Turco based on her 1864 letter to Mrs. J.G. Holland.





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