I did my best on the podcast to entertain and give an engaging reading of the content below, please check it out here, if you’d like a good laugh at my expense.
A couple months back, I was browsing through Pinterest –
Yes, it is still a thing. Yes I have one. Stop judging.
It started innocently enough as I was collecting scenic Halloween pictures and art (mainly retro or vintage in nature) when I began to stumble across selections of poetry, some of them over 100 years old, that had to do with Halloween and Fall. Eventually the selections then expanded to the rest of the big Holidays of Fall and early Winter.
So an idea came to me and it was roughly this: Curate and share the “best” of these little offerings on the blog and podcast with the hope of spreading some seasonal magic and holiday cheer. It is my desire to give you a pleasantly reminiscent and nostalgic feeling of the seasons past as well as a looking forward to the seasons to come; to warm the fire of your younger heart and help you carry that into the future, if possible.
So with my idea in mind, in honor of Fall and the spooky side of Halloween and under the full moon that is here tonight, October 20th, I give you 13 (gasp!) poetic selections to hopefully brighten your evening.
Happy Fall and Happy (early) Halloween.
Why I Like October
Why do I love October?
October’s the month of gold.
There’s crimson and nuts in the woodland,
There’s fruitage in orchard and wold;
‘Tis the banquet hall of the Seasons;
When their fair purple wine is spilled;
‘Tis the revel of color-splendors,
Where the wealth of the year is tilled.
And so I love October.
‘Tis fruition of faith to me;
In the beauty and gold of its garner,
The Opulent Giver I see.
Mamie“Why I Like October”, credited to Wee Wisdom Magazine, October 1919
O Hushed October morning mild,October, by Robert Frost, Public Domain
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
To-morrow’s wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.
The crows above the forest call;
To-morrow they may form and go.
O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow,
Make the day seem to us less brief.
Hearts not averse to being beguiled,
Beguile us in the way you know;
Release one leaf at break of day;
At noon release another leaf;
One from our trees, one far away;
Retard the sun with gentle mist;
Enchant the land with amethyst.
For grapes’ sake, if they were all,
Whose leaves already are burnt with frost,
Whose clustered fruit must else be lost–
For the grapes sake along the wall.
The fields of wheat are seas of gold
Along the open country road.
The orchard’s wealth clings to the vine,
Clustered fruit for sweet, red wine.
The cornstalks’ silken, tasseled heads
Stand tall above the melon beds;
The golden pumpkin waits its fate
To be a jack-o’lantern’s face,
While in the cornfield at his post,
Reluctant scarecrow’s playing host
To crows who taunt his haystack head
And raid, like beggars, the harvest bed.
The harvesttime is a holidayAutumn’s Spell, by Edith Elaine Williamson – Unable to find anything online about this Poet or the Poem to give proper credit.
Of brilliant colors, costumes gay,
So Autumn, weave your magic spell
Ere winter’s white shrouds hill and dell.
All Hallows’ Eve
The pumpkin grinned from ear to ear,
“The moon is bright, the sky is clear;
This is the night we’ve waited for,
When elves come knocking on the door,
“When witches ride their broomsticks high“All Hallows’ Eve” by Constance B. Osborne
And ghosts and goblins fill the sky.
Then Jack and Jill, with fairy queen,
Will dance and sing: it’s Halloween.”
Night for Pretending
The moon is a golden pumpkin
Set in an inky sky,
Wispy witches on broomstick clouds
Careen right madly by.
Prancing black cats with high arched backs
And plumy waving tails,
Stalk through the shivering shadows
With eerie meowing wails.
Small goblin and white-sheeted ghost,
Pirate, gypsy and clown,
Whisper, hide, then go scampering
Up all steps and down.
Crude jack-o’-lanterns flicker“Night for Pretending”, by Alice M. Swain
With pale, uncertain light:
If you’re not too old for pretending,
It’s a wonderful scary night.
There is a great poem by Shel Silverstein titled, “Haunted” but alas, it isn’t within the public domain and thus I probably should be a good boy and not share it here. That said, do look it up, it really is a great Halloween poem.
Jack O’ Lantern Village
Jack O’ Lantern Village
Lies somehwere in between
The last gray wall of twilight
And the dark of Halloween.
It’s streets are dim and winging,
Its houses weirdly bright
With pumpkin lamps that flicker
In yellow candle light.
If you should ever find it,
As children often do,
You’ll recognize the cauldron
Of witch’s magic brew.
You’ll hear the lone owls hooting,
The black cats’ mournful cries,
And every shadowed corner
Will sprout with gleaming eyes.
There will be fun aplenty
For all who venture there,
And laughter will run riot
Upon the misty air,
As little folks come troopingJack O’ Lantern Village, by Marguerite Gode, 1920s
When darkness settles down,
To light the yellow pumpkins
In Jack O’ Lantern Town.
Strange things are happening,
So strange you would not believe,
Were it not this particular season
And this particular eve!
Bats fly around the rooftop
Of a deserted barn nearby:
A flutter of wings sends the message,
“The time is drawing nigh.”
There’s a fodder shock where goblins
Are beginning to gather and shout;
Witches on polished broomsticks
Shadows quietly creep around
And more quietly steal away.
Baby ghosts perch on fence posts
(That’s where they like to play.)
Weird figures appear from nowhere;
Mr. Moor wears a silly grin…
Pumpkins with learning faces
Wait for the fun to begin.
Oh yes, strange things do happenStrange Things, by Frances Heighton
When the town clock strikes thirteen,
And witches and goblins gather
To celebrate Halloween!
All Hallow’s Eve
Sable black, sable black, windy and weird,All Hallow’s Eve, by Catherine Dennis
All Hallow’s Eve is a night to be feared;
All Hallow’s Eve is a night to reside
Close by the warmth of a bright fireside.
For over the housetops, afloat on the breeze,
Eerie and elfin things peer through the trees;
Goblins and ogres and fluttery ghosts
Sail on the night wind in shadowy hosts.
Rushing behind them are dragons and cats
Driven by witches in tall, sooty hats.
Howling and shrieking, they whirl as they fly,
Scratching the house eaves and hurrying by,
Plucking at latches on sturdy front doors,
Peering through windows in curious scores.
Sable black, sable black, windy and weird,
All Hallow’s Eve is a night to be feared.
Black cats and witches in the bramble!
Black bats, wings flashing all a-flurry!
Elves, goblins, pixies whirl and scurry!
It’s chatter, clatter, giggle, scramble!
Old Jack-o-lantern’s in a hurry!
Who cares? It’s fun without a worry!
The glow-worm sputters spooky green!
Whew-ey, what fun this Hallowe’en!
Wise Owl hoots off in the shadow!Halloween by John Martin, “John Martin’s Book: A Magazine for Little Children” Published between 1913-1933
Jack Pumpkin’s eyes are burning yellow!
(But, he’s a very decent fellow.)
Will-o-the-wisp flies in the meadow.
Long shadows dance in moonlight mellow.
What fun, what tricks! Whew-ey, the spell’o
The nights when spooky things are seen!
Come, let’s have fun this Hallowe’en!
There’s Magic in the airMagic, by John Martin
There’s nonsense everywhere
For you and me.
The black Cat’s eyes are bright,
The Moon sails by
Deep in the whispering night
Across the sky.
The old Clock says it’s late;
Near twelve he thinks.
A Pumpkin on the gate
Glows red and winks.
The Wind says, “W-h-e-w”
The house and goes
away without a sound,
where; no one knows.
There’s Magic everywhere
And in between
The Fire’s flash and flare
A twinkle may be seen.
There’s nonsense everywhere
And apples red and green;
But ne’er a thought of Care
Witches and ghosts and goblins and elves
And all of them almost afraid of themselves,
Sneaking about in the oldest of places
And all of them wearing the scariest faces!
Where do they come from? Who can they be?Trick-Or-Treat, by George L. Ehrman – Unable to find anything online about this Poet or the Poem to give proper credit.
Why every year do they come visit me?
But when the refreshments are gone from the scene,
They soon all depart until next Halloween!
Halloween Party Time
A Halloween party–
We’ve longed and we’ve waited
for this happy day.
There’ll be lots of games,
Pinning on donkey’s tail
And dripped wet faces
Bobbing apples from a pail.
A ghost walk for certain
To frighten and scare,
With witches and goblins
Hid round everywhere.
Have you tried eating apples
From a long piece of string?
The onlookers’ laughter
Will make the roof ring.
After the gamesHalloween Party Time, by Ruth H. Underhill, I found another poem of hers with her email attached, I reached out and asked permission to share
Are all over once more,
Hot chocolate and doughnuts
To eat by the score!
Halloween is the night that brings
Such spookie eerie kinds of things…
As witches flying through the air
And howling goblins everywhere.
Candle-lit pumpkins grinning with glee,
Blinking their eyes mysteriously.
A gold moon shining weirdly down
On skeletons dancing through the town.
Ragged hobos tramping about
Filling their sacks with handouts no doubt.
Whistling winds blowing through the trees,
A sudden chill appears in the breeze.
Jet-black cats flashing eyes of green,
Screeching owls acting restless and mean.
Dark shadows creeping in the night
Giving scarecrows a bit of a fright.
Haunting ghosts are everywhere, too,
Tapping on windows, then shouting, “Boo!”
But no matter how scary the sceneHalloween, by Beverly J. Anderson – Unable to find anything online about this Poet or the poem to give further credit.
The fact is… children love Halloween!