Poetry Sunday: September Midnight by Sara Teasdale

Sitting outside on a September evening, one hears a chorus of insect voices, "the passionless chant of insects, ceaseless, insistent." Sara Teasdale described it very well in this poem that was first published more than a hundred years ago in March 1914. Thankfully those voices are still there, the background music for a late summer evening.

September Midnight

by Sara Teasdale

Lyric night of the lingering Indian Summer,
Shadowy fields that are scentless but full of singing,
Never a bird, but the passionless chant of insects,
Ceaseless, insistent.

The grasshopper’s horn, and far-off, high in the maples,
The wheel of a locust leisurely grinding the silence
Under a moon waning and worn, broken,
Tired with summer.

Let me remember you, voices of little insects,
Weeds in the moonlight, fields that are tangled with asters,
Let me remember, soon will the winter be on us,
Snow-hushed and heavy.

Over my soul murmur your mute benediction,
While I gaze, O fields that rest after harvest,
As those who part look long in the eyes they lean to,
Lest they forget them.

Comments

  1. A very lovely poem. It does indeed remind me that the snows of winter will soon be upon us and the sounds of the insects will be but a memory until spring. There are so many ways to mark the changing of the seasons.

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    Replies
    1. No snows of winter here but daytime temperatures may dip below the 80s F.

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  2. I love hearing the crickets and cicadas at night. It's soothing to my very soul.

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    Replies
    1. The insect chorus is so loud right now. So hard to believe that we could have a frost later this month. It has happened. The season is fleeting and I hang onto every minute of it.

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    2. We generally get our first frost sometime in November so we have several more weeks of "summer," but already one can begin to feel a slight change in the atmosphere and in the quality of the light. Difficult though it may be for us to believe, winter is coming.

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  3. Oh, I love Sara Teasdale's poetry!

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  4. Our spring and summer of severe drought and 100+ degrees has been strangely silent of insect chatter and clatter.

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    Replies
    1. This poem makes me curious as to when we hear the most insects. Is it in September in most parts of America? Let's see what I can find out.

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    2. I would guess that it probably is in late summer.

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