The Harvest Moon

Tonight, the full moon will rise to meet Uranus in the Northern night-sky.

I will be somewhere, watching. I have no vegetable garden or crops to gather, but I will think of all the things that I am ready to reap.

The Harvest Moon

The flame-red moon, the harvest moon,
Rolls along the hills, gently bouncing,
A vast balloon,
Till it takes off, and sinks upward
To lie on the bottom of the sky, like a gold doubloon.
The harvest moon has come,
Booming softly through heaven, like a bassoon.
And the earth replies all night, like a deep drum.

So people can’t sleep,
So they go out where elms and oak trees keep
A kneeling vigil, in a religious hush.
The harvest moon has come!

And all the moonlit cows and all the sheep
Stare up at her petrified, while she swells
Filling heaven, as if red hot, and sailing
Closer and closer like the end of the world.

Till the gold fields of stiff wheat
Cry `We are ripe, reap us!’ and the rivers
Sweat from the melting hills.

– by Ted Hughes.


6 thoughts on “The Harvest Moon

    • It’s funny. I love poetic, lyrical prose but I never write poetry. I took a class in college more than a decade ago and still cringe at some of my contributions. I don’t have a real understanding of Form I suppose, or have simply never practiced enough perhaps.

      I was at a party on Friday where a woman read some Sestinas she’d written, and it was lovely but I was just snatching at phrases and isolated words, rather than really hearing the structure of sixes (six stanzas, six lines, six reappearing words) come through in her reading of it.

      I’m happy, in a way, for Poetry to be a mysterious, impenetrable, thing for me. I spend so much time deconstructing, analyzing and practicing the elements and techniques of the story form… it’s nice for something to appear to be Magic.

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