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Saturday, 9 October 2021

Saturday Rave: The Sweet Calm Sunshine of October by William Cullen Bryant

 William Cullen Bryant (1794 - 1878) was born in Massachusetts. His family were fairly hopeless poet material: his father was a doctor, and so neither poor enough to be romantic, nor rich enough to afford William the advantages of a university education.

There's a line which struck me from Cullen's Wikipedia entry. 

the strain of dealing with unsophisticated neighbors pushed him to trade his unrewarding profession [he was a lawyer]for New York and the promise of a literary career.

The mind boggles.

Anyway, once in New York Cullen did well. He became editor of the New York Evening Post. 

But he still had time to stop and look at things.

The sweet calm sunshine of October, now

Warms the low spot; upon its grassy mold

The purple oak-leaf falls; the birchen bough

Drops its bright spoil like arrow-heads of gold.

And so, through all the years, he tells us something we all knew, but had never realised.

Word To Use Today: October. Octo is Latin for eight, and October was indeed the eighth month of the year until Augustus Caesar felt the need to have a month named after himself. Well, Julius Caesar already had hos own month, so why not? In this way the eighth month got bumped back to tenth.


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