This Poem was Submitted By: marilyn terwilleger On Date: 2004-10-08 11:46:23 . . . Click Here To Mail this Poem to a Friend!

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Sighs of Autumn

Tulip bulbs lie hushed before me expecting to nap in a loamy quilt till roused by spring showers. My spade poised to slice the soil when I heard it...the susurrus sounds of autumn. Ghost like rusty leaves rustled and scampered across the brick path.  Loose clouds slipped down from the melancholy sky and shrouded the trees with a gossamer cloak.  A sudden Chinook shook tangled boughs then murmured a dreary melody as startled grackles cried an ominous shriek and sailed skyward. The once sanguine sun paled as a parasol of clouds dimmed the lustrous lamp.  Trees and grasses groaned aghast at threats of autumn. Kneeling in my arbor of splendor, savoring the peerless pomp around me I plunged my spade into fertile marl. Even death of summer brings enchantment to sighs of autumn.

Copyright © October 2004 marilyn terwilleger

This Poem was Critiqued By: Karen Ann Jacobs On Date: 2004-11-02 20:22:44
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.66667
Autumn is my favorite time of year. I am always glad to see the miserable season of summer go and to welcome autumn. As I read your poem I couldn’t help but smile at the perfect way you described the sights, sounds, and feelings of this time of year. I had to look up a couple of the words, but I’m glad I got to learn what Chanook, marl, and Grackles were. My only suggestion would be to think about breaking the big second stanza into two or three stanzas. I just felt a bit weighted down by the big clump that the words seemed to struggle against a little bit. Great poem, though! This was my favorite part, “Ghost like rusty leaves rustled and scampered across the brick path.” It gave me a happy chill. Kay-Ren

This Poem was Critiqued By: Tony P Spicuglia On Date: 2004-10-22 17:52:27
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.66667
This is such a magical piece i was dissappointed when it ended, from the susurrus sounds of autumn to the peerless pomp around you, a splendid piece. Your descriptives from the crackling of autumn leaves to the Chinook tangling boughs caught and held me. I was engrossed in every word of each line. "Rusty leaves rustled", "trees and grasses groaned", how I was spent and longed to look at the world with you in the moment you described. Your "arbor of splendor", leading to you "plunging" your spade into the "fertile marl", faboulous wording. In these words of death and life, there is the metaphor screaming of death and rebirth, of mystery and answers to be found. Your second to the last line "Even death of summer brings enchantment", not only bears the hope of a following spring, but also the hope of eternity beyond the grave. A truly splendid piece!!
This Poem was Critiqued By: Debbie Spicer On Date: 2004-10-18 13:18:32
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.87500
Dear Marilyn, Oh can you ever write! You amaze me in the way you can articulate with words to make me feel I am right there. The title is so good and right on with everything rushing towards it in the poem. At first I thought it said “Signs of Autumn” but soon I discovered it was “Sighs” which gave it such a gracious meaning. The tulip bulbs have now laid to rest, once giving their color and boldness during a warm summer, now to hibernate in the earth until spring comes again, once more. The wonderful way you express this is way beyond my abilities and I am so impressed. As your spade reached into the soil the autumn sighs breathed out to tell all. The leaves, now of changed color, falling from the trees and bushes all around are sighs of autumn being here as well. One of my favorite lines is “Ghost life rusty leaves rustled”, oh does that speak of the true flavor of autumn. The wind’s breeze swoops these leaves and tosses and turns them as swirls in the autumn air. I as well love the line “The once sanguine (confident) sun paled” for now the sun has taken back seat to the upcoming weather. In fact, I love the entire poem so how am to pick the special lines in the stanzas for me, when the entire poem speaks so loudly yet with strength and softness. You are truly a poet and I love your work. This poem needs to be published as “the sigh” is here as I note of my backyard. Such a great job and with such abilities. Wonderful! With much love, Debbie
This Poem was Critiqued By: Joanne M Uppendahl On Date: 2004-10-15 13:48:56
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.66667
Dear Marilyn: You are a poet-gardener who loves the changing seasons as I do, and communicate your appreciation for all that surrounds you beautifully. This poem gave me chills, and it's easy to feel that "sudden Chinook" that "tangled boughs." This poem is steeped in atmosphere, and as Mell might say, 'frabjous linguistry'! It -- in short -- is a gem. But to specifics! I love the first line's allusion that the tulip bulbs are like babies. They really do seem that way to me, too -- and I handle them with care, wincing if I accidentally cut one of them when spading soil to plant spring flowers. I always dig around carefully to find them all. I love that you have them "expecting to nap in a loamy quilt" -- how soothing and restful. Then you treat my expectant ears with the sibilant "susurrus sounds" of autumn. Ghost like rusty leaves rustled and --oooh! I love this! scampered across the brick path. Loose clouds slipped down from the melancholy sky and shrouded the trees with a gossamer cloak. --you've shown that 'melancholy' can bring pleasure, too A sudden Chinook shook tangled boughs then murmured a dreary melody as startled grackles cried Here I could easily hear the grackles! Just as I read that line, some crows outside my window gave several loud caws. an ominous shriek and sailed skyward. --you show how birdsounds can have many shades of variation The once sanguine sun paled as a "parasol of clouds" dimmed the lustrous --lovely! Though I'd expect it more in spring lamp. Trees and grasses groaned aghast at threats of autumn. --delicious personification Kneeling in my arbor of splendor, (This shows your reverent attitude toward creation, IMO!) savoring the peerless pomp around me --wonderful plosives! I plunged my spade into fertile "marl" --what a great word Even death of summer brings enchantment to sighs of autumn. An ending to savor. This poem is absolutely scrumptious! Thank you for the great read and for intensifying my expectations of enjoyment of all that the fall garden has to offer. This is another magnificent work to add to your collection of "keepers" -- a definite winner in my book. All my best, Joanne
This Poem was Critiqued By: Turner Lee Williams On Date: 2004-10-11 16:38:00
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.81818
Marilyn–I too love gardening and consider myself somewhat green thumbed, however, this piece leaves me with a new found respect for/of tilling in soil: a poetic naturesque scenario/story that provides pleasure for all the senses and an emotional connection with the seasonal changes. The descriptors used have the ring of someone that is knowledgeable and genuinely in tune with nature. Furthermore, the piece made my hands itch to prepare beds for the next year’s crop-smile. Your personifications (too numerous to mention) of flora and allits (spring showers; susurrus sounds; sailed skyward; sanguine sun; lustrous lamp; splendor savoring; peerless pomp) combine to create vivid imagery and produce sonorous tones. Thanks for sharing this signature appreciation of blessings. TLW
This Poem was Critiqued By: Dellena Rovito On Date: 2004-10-10 20:03:11
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 1.00000
Marilyn, How nice..........sighs of autumn is a perfect title. I like your imagery. I felt that I was on my knees beside you. Thank you, dellena
This Poem was Critiqued By: Jennifer j Hill On Date: 2004-10-09 15:10:41
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 1.00000
Hi Marilyn, How beautiful this poem is and with such flavor of fall! I love the thought of the bulbs napping in a "loamy quilt". What a lovely thought! Love all the "S"s of the first stanza giving this a whispery feel that goes with the napping bulbs and sleepy sighs of Autumn. I think you just forgot the "o" in "susurrus", but that's a minor detail. Personifying the leaves and making them scamper like children (or maybe rabits)is a unique and rewarding visual. There so many images to savor in this piece. You massage our brains with one after another. I can see the clouds shrouding the trees on the mountainside and find this to be akin to a memory I have of a vacation in the Rookies in October. So I know you're writing straight from what you're seeing and I envy you that you're blessing with such great inspiration everyday. I can also tell you don't take a bit of it for granted. The rhyme Chinook/shook is extraordinary, and the personification of the Rocky mountain wind haunts my thoughts with the feeling that winter isn't far off, as I'm sure the startled grackles(love it!) were thinking as well. "A parasol of clouds" is another discription I find unique and so very visual. This is so true! : "Even death of summer brings enchantment to sighs of autumn." Thank you for something to hold on to as the days get shorter and shorter--the only part of fall that makes me sad. Blessings, Jennifer
This Poem was Critiqued By: James Edward Schanne On Date: 2004-10-08 13:58:39
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.84615
Good images and sounds throughout this poem, I really enjoyed it, especially those groaning trees and I can see autumn shaking its fist at the grass and trees , Thanks for letting me read and comment It was a real pleasure.
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