• Wycoller Scarecrow

Mists and Mellow Fruitfulness


Chapel Cottage Acer

Several of my friends become depressed at this time of year, dread of winter denying them the joys of autumn's brilliance. By contrast, I love this season - perhaps because I have an October birthday, perhaps because something in me loves the undercurrent of melancholy in the great blaze of colour.


It's also a quieter time of year. I love Hardy's lines: "all mankind that haunted nigh Had sought their household fires". I can sink into myself and become immersed in my writing, knowing that the world is less likely to intrude.


To Autumn, from which I have taken the title for today's blog, is a great favourite of mine. Keats was the first poet with whom I fell in love and thinking of him sometimes takes me back to the agony of my 'A' Level choices.


For English, two of the papers were compulsory: Shakespeare and Poetry Appreciation. For our third paper, there was a notional choice between the Romantics and the Moderns. To be told that girls like Romantic poetry so the boys would all be studying the Moderns was heart-breaking and yet, looking back, studying T.S. Eliot in particular did extend my range enormously and Eliot now is one of my idols.


Of course, I don't have a trace of Modernism in me; all that I have written, apart from a few satirical pieces, has a Romantic core. Nevertheless, insofar as I have written anything of worth, that sense that other writers coming from different perspectives are somehow looking over my shoulder with a high degree of scepticism has made me more self-conscious and more ambitious in my writings.

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