On a very blustery, ashen autumn day indeed –
“The skies they were ashen and sober;
The leaves they were crisped and sere –
The leaves they were withering and sere;
It was night in the lonesome October
Of my most immemorial year:
It was hard by the dim lake of Auber,
In the misty mid region of Weir –
It was down by the dank tarn of Auber,
In the ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir.”
– from “Ulalume,” Edgar Allen Poe
“The lucidity, the clarity of the light that afternoon was sufficient to itself; perfect transparency must be impenetrable, these vertical bars of a brass-coloured distillation of light coming down from sulphur-yellow interstices in a sky hunkered with grey clouds that bulge with more rain. It struck the wood with nicotine-stained fingers, the leaves glittered. A cold day of late October, when the withered blackberries dangled like their own dour spooks on the discoloured brambles. There were crisp husks of beechmast and cast acorn cups underfoot in the russet slime of dead bracken where the rains of the equinox had so soaked the earth that the cold oozed up through the soles of the shoes, lancinating cold of the approach of winter that grips hold of your belly and squeezes it tight. Now the stark elders have an anorexic look; there is not much in the autumn wood to make you smile but it is not yet, not quite yet, the saddest time of the year. Only, there is a haunting sense of the imminent cessation of being; the year, in turning, turns in on itself. Introspective weather, a sickroom hush.”
– from “The Erl-King,” Angela Carter
My reading lately: Poe, for the first time in years; Ligotti (meh^10 – why is he compared to Poe?); Sarah Arvio’s collection of poems about her ghostly “visitors,” Visits from the Seventh. Anyone have any other recommendations for October-appropriate reading?
4 thoughts on “A very happy October to all”
I often like L.M. Montgomery in the fall–not Anne, but The Story Girl or some of the short story collections.
I’d never even heard of The Story Girl, but I just looked it up, and it looks like a lot of fun. I think the only Montgomery short story collection I have is Tales from Avonlea, which never quite captured my attention during my Anne period (I suspect I wasn’t old enough to understand most of the stories). Any recommendations for her other collections?