Monday, September 22, 2008

Autumnal Equinox

Image:Harvest moon.jpg

today is the first day of fall and so today the autumnal equinox will take place at 11:44 a.m this morning.

the autumnal equinox the moment when the sun is directly over the earth's equator. on this day the sun will spend an equal amount of time above and below the horizon at every location on the earth. day and night will be the same amount of time. and if you've been wondering why the moon has been so beautiful and prominent in the sky as of late (i def have) its because on/around this time of it takes the moon the shortest amount of time to rise into the sky after sunset (due to the angel of the earth/moon/sun being perfect). but it all goes down hill from here, guys! the days are getting shorter, the nights are getting longer.

but there's something really wonderful about a robert frost poem in autumn. here's one of his most autumn poems "after apple picking" published in 1914 in which he describes his half awake-half dreaming state after a long day of apple picking. while picking apples he becomes intoxicated by the fall and the apple's smells, sounds, textures, and images that remind him of the complex relationship between life and death...and sleep?

press play to hear the poem read aloud. the poem's text is below.

After Apple Picking by Robert Frost

My long two-pointed ladder's sticking through a tree
Toward heaven still.
And there's a barrel that I didn't fill
Beside it, and there may be two or three
Apples I didn't pick upon some bough.
But I am done with apple-picking now.
Essence of winter sleep is on the night,
The scent of apples; I am drowsing off.
I cannot shake the shimmer from my sight
I got from looking through a pane of glass
I skimmed this morning from the water-trough,
And held against the world of hoary grass.
It melted, and I let it fall and break.
But I was well
Upon my way to sleep before it fell,
And I could tell
What form my dreaming was about to take.
Magnified apples appear and reappear,
Stem end and blossom end,
And every fleck of russet showing clear.
My instep arch not only keeps the ache,
It keeps the pressure of a ladder-round.
And I keep hearing from the cellar-bin
That rumbling sound
Of load on load of apples coming in.
For I have had too much
Of apple-picking; I am overtired
Of the great harvest I myself desired.
There were ten thousand thousand fruit to touch,
Cherish in hand, lift down, and not let fall,
For all
That struck the earth,
No matter if not bruised, or spiked with stubble,
Went surely to the cider-apple heap
As of no worth.
One can see what will trouble
This sleep of mine, whatever sleep it is.
Were he not gone,
The woodchuck could say whether it's like his
Long sleep, as I describe its coming on,
Or just some human sleep.

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