Great! It's November! The month of staying cozy, staying home and reading... well, the cozy part's new, and the staying home is a bit longer because of my lack of an elevator. But in general, November's great for writers -- as these in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations reminded me.
My favorite poet, Robert Burns (1759-1796), wasn't necessarily a supporter of November, but he did describe it well:
"When chill November's surly blast
Made fields and forests bare."
-- from "Man Was Made to Mourn" (1786)
Another Scotsman, Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832), was cheerier in his second line, at least:
"November's sky is chill and drear,
November's leaf is red and sear."
-- from "Marmion" (1808), introduction to Canto I
Then there's one I used to think was by the ever-prolific Anonymous. But now I know who to get mad at: Thomas Hood (1798-1845):
No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,
No comfortable feel in any member --
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds,
-- from "No" (undated)
But actually, Anonymous did get into the act -- and this post -- with a famous reminder that will be recited until tomorrow:
"Please to remember the Fifth of November,
Gunpowder Treason and Plot."
-- Guy Fawkes's Rhyme, traditional in England since the 17th century
Nov. 5 is full of memories for me -- and they included hearing that rhyme, so maybe that's why they stuck.
Stop by the Margaret Serious page on Facebook.
Please to remember to subscribe! Type your e-mail address in the box and click the "create subscription" button. My list is completely spam-free, and you can opt out at any time.