Portraits and Landscapes Autumn

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Ode to Autumn by John Keats

SEASON of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,          5
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease;   10
For Summer has o’erbrimm’d their clammy cells.
 Fear by Felicity Harley

At the end of summer there is a

sudden cool in the air.

The sun makes the garden so clean and clear.

It’s the space between the seasons,

the one that I dread.

Bittersweet and beautiful

with its premonition of the cold and dark to come.

Two takes on Autumn – John Keats and mine.

I’ve always loved the mythology of Demeter and Persephone.  Of how she was carried away by Hades her uncle as his bride, with the tacit support of her father, Zeus. Of how her mother Demeter made the earth barren until she was allowed to come back.   Of how Hades tricked Persephone by offering her a pomegranate seed, which she unwittingly ate before she went back to her mother, and was then forced to return to Hades regularly for four months a year. Of how her mother mourns this return every year, by giving us so much beauty and then taking it away from us in deepest. darkest winter.