greentapestry : A Poem For November

Sunday, 3 November 2013

A Poem For November

Today I think
Only with scents, - scents dead leaves yield,
And bracken, and wild carrot's seed,
And the square mustard field;

Odours that rise
When the spade wounds the roots of tree,
Rose, currant, raspberry, or goutweed,
Rhubarb or celery;

The smoke's smell too,
Flowing from where a bonfire burns
The dead, the waste, the dangerous,
And all to sweetness turns.

It is enough
To smell, to crumble the dark earth,
While the robin sings over again
Sad songs of Autumn mirth.

- 'Digging' by Edward Thomas (1878 -1917).

Illustration - Vincent Van Gogh (1853 -1890).


  1. we have a similar lithograph, but our lady looks younger and less grimly determined. Hard work, digging potatoes, and in the cold with all those clothes.

  2. November already, dare I say, it'll soon be Christmas. We had our first frost last night, back to de icing the car on a morning.

  3. I like Edward Thomas's poem very evocative and Vincent van Gogh's 'peasant' paintings are great.

  4. Not come across that poem before, Anna, so thanks for sharing it - and the Van Gogh picture suits it (ahem!) down to the ground

  5. That's a lovely poem Anna. Haven't seen that before. The painting is perfect for the season too!

  6. That's so evocative, particularly as only a couple of days ago I was experiencing the smell you get from a spade hitting roots.

  7. Great poem and illustration - so evocative of the month. It's strange how we see gardening as a pleasurable hobby and revel in the chance to get outdoors and get some exercise. Looks like a very different story for the woman in the picture. A life of grind and toil doesn't make growing your own seem quite so appealing. Makes me feel lucky I have warm, dry home to go to after digging in the rain.

  8. Thanks for your comments. I was glad to read that you enjoyed the poem.


All your comments are much appreciated and treasured. I wil try to reply to everyone who leaves a comment, but it may take me a few days, especially when I start spending more time in the garden and at the lottie. I know that you will understand :) I am sure that I will also visit your blog if I have not already done so. If you have any specific questions I will either reply to them here or you can email me at :


- Anna.