Bookin' It

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When the Frost is On the Punkin by James Whitcomb Riley

Fodder in The Shock, Corn Stalks and Old Barn photo

Fodder (Corn Stalks) In The Shock

(As Always, Click to Zoom)

Yep, I’m starting to believe Autumn is really on the way.  Only 72 degrees outside this morning, and I was able to turn the air conditioner off for three whole hours, and leave the door to the back porch open.  Cats were loving being able to watch birds through the screen, dogs were excited by the “nip” (haha) in the air.  And I began to feel like the long, hot summer might finally be winding down.  In fact, I’m feeling so happy, that I pulled out another favorite autumn poem of mine by James Whitcomb Riley, for your reading pleasure.  For those who weren’t required to read his work in school (like I was) and never experienced how much fun his dialect-written poetry is, I hope you will enjoy your first exposure.  While he is now considered a minor poet by many,  he was extremely popular in his day, and children especially still love his work.  So for the child in all of us, here’s a favorite of mine.  Check it out for yourself and see what you think!

When the Frost is On the Punkin
James Whitcomb Riley, The Hoosier Poet (1849-1916)

~~~

When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock,
And you hear the kyouck and gobble of the struttin’ turkey-cock,
And the clackin’ of the guineys, and the cluckin’ of the hens,
And the rooster’s hallylooyer as he tiptoes on the fence;
O, it’s then’s the times a feller is a-feelin’ at his best,
With the risin’ sun to greet him from a night of peaceful rest,
As he leaves the house, bareheaded, and goes out to feed the stock,
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock.

They’s something kindo’ harty-like about the atmusfere
When the heat of summer’s over and the coolin’ fall is here—
Of course we miss the flowers, and the blossums on the trees,
And the mumble of the hummin’-birds and buzzin’ of the bees;
But the air’s so appetizin’; and the landscape through the haze
Of a crisp and sunny morning of the airly autumn days
Is a pictur’ that no painter has the colorin’ to mock—
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock.

The husky, rusty russel of the tossels of the corn,
And the raspin’ of the tangled leaves, as golden as the morn;
The stubble in the furries—kindo’ lonesome-like, but still
A-preachin’ sermuns to us of the barns they growed to fill;
The strawstack in the medder, and the reaper in the shed;
The hosses in theyr stalls below—the clover over-head!—
O, it sets my hart a-clickin’ like the tickin’ of a clock,
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock!

Then your apples all is gethered, and the ones a feller keeps
Is poured around the celler-floor in red and yeller heaps;
And your cider-makin’ ’s over, and your wimmern-folks is through
With their mince and apple-butter, and theyr souse and saussage, too! . . .
I don’t know how to tell it—but ef sich a thing could be
As the Angels wantin’ boardin’, and they’d call around on me—
I’d want to ’commodate ’em—all the whole-indurin’ flock—
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock!

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