Here's what my ragged patio garden looked like yesterday, when summer officially ended. In a few days I'll deadhead these rose bushes (all the others have finished blooming now) and put out some potted mums, signalling my annual surrender to autumn.
Right now I'm looking out my office window at a dreary, rainy morning. This seems like a perfect time for a bit of reverie accompanied by a toasty-warm pot of Darjeeling tea and a good poem or two. So after I put the kettle on the stove I'll hunt up a favorite old book and savor a bit of John Masefield's dreamy imagery. I thought of him just now, when I came across this short article over at Today in Literature:
On this day in 1891, John Masefield began his first sea apprenticeship, at the age of thirteen. Masefield had been orphaned, and his aunt thought that his dreamy, bookish ways might be corrected by English naval discipline. Four years later, Masefield deserted ship in New York, vowing to "be a writer, come what might." Despite his reluctant and limited years upon it, Masefield became the 'Poet of the Sea' for a generation by virtue of such early poems as "Sea Fever," written when he was twenty-two but already full of nostalgia:I must down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea's face and a grey dawn breaking. . . .
If you'd like to read "Sea Fever" in its entirety, go here.