The overnight temperatures this weekend are expected to go down into the thirties in my neighborhood. The trees are close to peak color, but brisk winds are beginning to take some of the leaves down and there are a few bare branches showing through on the hills.
October’s growing thin, and the coming cold can make us uneasy. This has been quite a year. Will we be isolated all winter? Will the house be warm enough? Will the darkness drag us down? Will we get sick? Will we make it all the way to spring?
The great Maine folksinger and songwriter Gordon Bok offers us some reassurance as the seasons begin to change and the cold closes in around us with this lyrical translation of an astronomical observation.
Read along with your students, or sing along, as Bok provides us with our homeschool poem-of-the-week for the last week of October.
Turning Toward the Morning
When the deer has bedded down
And the bear has gone to ground,
And the northern goose has wandered off
To warmer bay and sound,
It’s so easy in the cold to feel
The darkness of the year
And the heart is growing lonely
For the morning.
Oh, my Joanie, don’t you know
That the stars are swinging slow,
And the seas are rolling easy
As they did so long ago?
And if I had a thing to give you,
I would tell you one more time
That the world is always turning
Toward the morning.
Now October’s growing thin
And November’s coming home;
You’ll be thinking of the season
And the sad things that you’ve seen,
And you hear that old wind walking,
Hear him singing high and thin,
You could swear he’s out there singing
Of your sorrow. (Chorus)
When the darkness falls around you
And the north wind comes to blow,
And you hear him call your name out
As he walks the brittle snow:
That old wind don’t mean you trouble,
He don’t care or even know,
He’s just walking down the darkness
Toward the morning. (Chorus)
It’s a pity we don’t know
What the little flowers know.
They can’t face the cold November,
They can’t take the wind and snow:
They put their glories all behind them,
Bow their heads and let it go,
But you know they’ll be there shining
In the morning. (Chorus)
Now, my Joanie, don’t you know
That the days are rolling slow,
And the winter’s walking easy,
As he did so long ago?
And if that wind should come and ask you,
“Why’s my Joanie weeping so?”
Won’t you tell him that you’re weeping
For the morning? (Chorus)
What wonderful words and poetical productions are you studying in your homeschool this Cygnus Term? 😊
❡ The world is always turning toward the morning: If a special line or turn of phrase happens to strike you in one of our weekly poems, just copy it onto your homeschool bulletin board for a few days and invite your students to speak it aloud — that’s all it takes to begin a new poetical friendship and learn a few lovely words that will stay with you for life. 🌅
❡ Here, said the year: This post is one of our regular homeschool poems-of-the-week. Add your name to our River Houses mailing list to get posts like these delivered right to your mailbox, and print your own River Houses Poetry Calendar to follow along with us as we visit fifty of our favorite friends over the course of the year. 📖