Monday, October 20, 2014

"When the Frost is on the Punkin"

Happy Monday! I hope you enjoy our northern Indiana Fall colors. They reminded me of a poem by James Whitcomb Riley about the Fall season. I discovered that Riley is an Indiana native, and he was  thought of as the "Hoosier Poet" or "Children's Poet" because he often wrote verses for children about  rural life in Indiana.

When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock,
And you hear the kyouck and the 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 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 somethin 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 monring of the airly autumn days
Is a pictur' that no painter has the colorin' to mock -
When the frost is on the punkin and 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' sermons 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 overhead! -
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 if 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!
~~by James Whitcomb Riley (1849-1916)

  Riley was known for writing in the vernacular, and though he only completed the eighth grade by age twenty, he went on to leave a great legacy of words. I learned that Riley Children's Hospital in Indianapolis, is named in his honor, and in 1915, his birthdate was proclaimed Riley Day. I was also surprised to learn he wrote a poem with the title of a nickname I often heard growing up: "Little Orphan Annie". Some of his works were compiled into children's readers like this one: 

Enjoy the scenes of Fall in your "neck o' the woods"!

Does your state have a famous author?

Blog post by Anne Love-
Writer of Historical Romance inspired by her family roots. 
Nurse Practitioner by day. 
Wife, mother, writer by night. 
Coffee drinker--any time.
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  1. Minnesota has many famous authors. F. Scott Fitzgerald, Sinclair Lewis, Garrison Keillor, Vince Flynn, John Sandford, Maud Hart Lovelace, LaVyrle Spencer, Julie Klassen, Susan May Warren. And many more! :)

  2. We have a few here in Alabama: Harper Lee, Winston Groom, Truman Capote, Fannie Flagg, Mark Childress, Helen Keller, Kathryn Tucker Windham and Beth Albright, just to name a few.

  3. Love Riley's poem - a real picture of the Hoosier state in the days of old. Thanks for sharing, Anne.

  4. Thanks you for the info on James Whitcomb Rilery and those beautiful pics, Anne - love the colors of fall!! One of the more well known authors from Ky. was Jesse Stuart - known as the poet laureate of Ky.. Some of our very best inspirational fiction authors are from Ky.: Laura Frantz, Liz Curtis Higgs, Ann Gabhart - to name a few.

  5. What a wonderful growing list of authors from other states!! I love it!

  6. We are Facebook friends and I came over to say hi, and am following your blog now. That would be fun to make a list of some favorite California authors, one I can think of is Ann Lamott. My blog post today shows 4 books I bought; come on over and say hi.

    1. Thanks for stopping by for "coffee" Terra!!


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