August 17, 2010

Autumn public speaking selections

If you're a Waldorfian, you likely try to learn a poem or two each season about the blessed and unique place you currently occupy in the grand rhythm of the earth.  Okay, that may sound a bit dramatic if you're not a Waldorfian, but this is the fondness with which both poetry and natural rhythm are spoken of in those educational circles.  I promise.  We try to get our Waldorf on from time to time over here, though it's true that sometimes the frolicking falls between the cracks of the more formal topics of Brutus and barometers. 

We now have inspiration and instruction to not forget the more sensitive things like recitation of seasonal poetry with our formal language arts program.  Keep in mind, this is the Momma Skyla twist on K-12's requirement to practice public speaking skills (which are severely lacking in modern youth, if you ask me- which I get that you didn't).  I figure that if Hannah Jane is asked to prepare a piece for public speaking every couple of weeks, why not let this be a Waldorf inspired bit of whimsy that actually gets penciled into our schedule?
For you Waldorf moms looking for a bit of seasonal cheer, or you more straight-laced types looking for a short and relevant piece for a public speaking requirement, I offer these passages to celebrate the fast approaching autumnal season with style!

"The morrow was a bright September morn;
The earth was beautiful as if newborn;
There was nameless splendor everywhere,
That wild exhilaration in the air,
Which makes the passers in the city street
Congratulate each other as they meet."
-   Henry Wadsworth Longfellow  

"Under the harvest moon,
When the soft silver
Drips shimmering
Over the garden nights,
Death, the gray mocker,
Comes and whispers to you
As a beautiful friend
Who remembers."
-  Carl Sandburg, Under the Harvest Moon

"By all these lovely tokens
September days are here,
With summer’s best of weather
And autumn’s best of cheer."
-   Helen Hunt Jackson, September, 1830-1885 

"Sorrow and scarlet leaf,
Sad thoughts and sunny weather.
Ah me, this glory and this grief
Agree not well together!"
-   Thomas Parsons, 1880, A Song For September
"The breezes taste
Of apple peel.
The air is full
Of smells to feel-
Ripe fruit, old footballs,
Burning brush,
New books, erasers,
Chalk, and such.
The bee, his hive,
Well-honeyed hum,
And Mother cuts
Like plates washed clean
With suds, the days
Are polished with
A morning haze.
-   John Updike, September

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