Archive for September 3rd, 2009

Tonight I’ve to read a poem by one of my favorite poets, Rainer Maria Rilke.

I choose “Day in Autumn” as translated by Mary Kinzie and presented at the Poetry Foundation website [ http://www.poetryfoundation.org/archive/poem.html?id=181335%5D.

Reading the first two verses:

“After the summer’s yield, Lord, it is time
to let your shadow lengthen on the sundials
and in the pastures let the rough winds fly.
As for the final fruits, coax them to roundness.
Direct on them two days of warmer light
to hale them golden toward their term, and harry
the last few drops of sweetness through the wine.”

Already at this very early time in September, the temperature in the Northeast is too cool to take advantage of the swimming pool. The water ( absent a heater) is just a bit too cold.

Unmistakably, Autumn is in the air and this Rilke poem captures for me the bitter-sweet quality of the moment: the longer shadows at dusk, and the earlier loss of light. Yet, there is a lover’s longing in the air of both great expectation and desire to prolong the heat and light that we cherish.

We long for just a little more light ( oh, that it might linger) and the taste of those “final fruits” signifying this Summer’s gifts of playfulness.

Autumn is about the return to school and, for most businesses, is a time for buckling down to the work of the last quarter. It is a time for organizing, planning and preparing. The remembrance of Summer feeds our hopefulness as we await the coming colder, darker months.

So, as we look ahead to the grey-tone months to come, let us savor the ” last few drops of sweetness through the wine.”

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