Quote Archive

 

2008

"Delicious autumn! My very soul iswedded to it,
and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking successive autumns"--George Eliot

"In the depths of winterI finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer." --Albert Camus

2009

"Come, gentle Spring! Ethereal Mildness! Come."----James Thomson

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt. ~Margaret Atwood

"Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it."
- Russel Baker

"When summer gathers up her robes of glory,
And, like a dream, glides away." --Sarah Helen Whitman

"Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about
the earth seeking the successive autumns." ---George Eliot

"Scarecrow and a yellow moon,
And pretty soon a carnival on the edge of town,
King harvest has surely come." ----The Band

"I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure in the landscape -
the loneliness of it - the dead feeling of winter.
Something waits beneath it - the whole story doesn't show."
- Andrew Wyeth

 

2010

"It is deep January. The sky is hard. The stalks are firmly rooted in ice."
---Wallace Stevens, No Possum, No Sop, No Taters

"Nature has undoubtedly mastered the art of winter gardening and even the most experienced
gardener can learn from the unrestrained beauty around them."
-   Vincent A. Simeone

The last fling of winter is over ...  The earth, the soil itself, has a dreaming quality about it.  It is warm
now to the touch; it has come alive; it hides secrets that in a moment, in a little while, it will tell.
------- Donald Culross Peattie

"Spring has returned.  The Earth is like a child that knows poems."
-   Rainer Maria Rilke

"All things seem possible in May."
-   Edwin Way Teale

"In June as many as a dozen species may burst their buds on a single day.
No man can heed all of these anniversaries; no man can ignore all of them."
-   Aldo Leopold

"When summer gathers up her robes of glory,
And, like a dream, glides away."
‘ “‘ “Sarah Helen Whitman

"She had only to stand in the orchard, to put her hand on a little crab tree and look up at the apples,
to make you feel the goodness of planting and tending and harvesting at last."
- Willa Cather

"From December to March, there are for many of us three gardens -
the garden outdoors,
the garden of pots and bowls in the house,
and the garden of the mind's eye."
- Katherine S. White

 

2011

"Why, what's the matter,
That you have such a February face,
So full of frost, of storm and cloudiness?"
- William Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing

 

"The last fling of winter is over ... The earth, the soil itself, has a dreaming
quality about it. It is warm now to the touch; it has come alive; it hides
secrets that in a moment, in a little while, it will tell."
- Donald Culross Peattie 

"Spring makes its own statement,
so loud and clear that the gardener seems
to be only one of the instruments, not the composer."
- Geoffrey B. Charlesworth

"In June, as many as a dozen species may burst their buds on a single day.
No man can heed all of these anniversaries; no man can ignore all of them."
- Aldo Leopold

"What is one to say about June, the time of perfect young summer,
the fulfillment of the promise of the earlier months, and with as yet
no sign to remind one that its fresh young beauty will ever fade."
- Gertrude Jekyll, On Gardening

"Live in each season as it passes: breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit."
-- Henry David Thoreau

Peachy-plummy sunsets slightly earlier each day,
sweet September softly nudging long hot August on its way.
Ana Simms

It is a sad moment when the first phlox appears. It is the amber light indicating the end of the great burst of early summer and suggesting that we must now start looking forward to autumn. Not that I have any objection to autumn as a season, full of its own beauty; but I just cannot bear to see another summer go, and I recoil from what the first hint of autumn means."
- Vita Sackville-West

Corn wind in the fall, come off the black lands, come off the whisper of the silk hangers,
the lap of the flat spear leaves. ------Carl Sandburg

 

2012

"I frequently tramped eight or ten miles through the deepest snow to keep an appointment
with a beech-tree, or a yellow birch, or an old acquaintance among the pines."
- Henry David Thoreau       

"The first day of spring was once the time for taking the young virgins into the fields, there in dalliance to set an example in fertility for nature to follow. Now we just set the clocks an hour ahead and change the oil in the crankcase."
- E.B. White, "Hot Weather," One Man's Meat, 1944

Spring has returned. The Earth is like a child that knows poems.
~~Rainer Maria Rilke

"It is dry, hazy June weather. We are more of the earth, farther from heaven these days."
- Henry David Thoreau

"Lord, it is time.
The summer was very big.
Lay thy shadow on the sundials, and on the meadows let the winds go loose.
Command the last fruits that they shall be full; give them another two more southerly days,
press them on to fulfillment and drive the last sweetness into the heavenly wine."
- Rainer Maria Rilke

 

2013

"I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure in the landscape -- the loneliness of it -- the dead feeling of winter.
Something waits beneath it - the whole story doesn't show."
----- Andrew Wyeth 

One swallow does not make a summer, but one skein of geese, cleaving the murk of March thaw, is the spring. ------ Aldo Leopold

  In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt. ‘ ” Margaret Atwood


"Green was the silence, wet was the light,
the month of June trembled like a butterfly."
? Pablo Neruda, 100 Love Sonnets

 

"It was one of those perfect English autumnal days which occur more frequently in memory than in life."
P.D. James, A Taste For Death

 

2014

"When the April wind wakes the call for the soil, I hold the plough as my only hold upon the earth, and, as I follow through the fresh and fragrant furrow, I am planted with every foot-step, growing, budding, blooming into a spirit of spring."
                                                                                                                                     ---  Dallas Lore Sharp
 
"June is bustin' out all over."
                                                                                  -  Oscar Hammerstein II, 1945
 
"In August, the large masses of berries, which, when in flower, had attracted many wild bees,
gradually assumed their bright velvety crimson hue, and by their weight again bent down and broke their tender limbs."
-  Henry David Thoreau

So when the shadows lengthen into an evening sun
Well, first there's summer, then I'll let you in, September, when it comes
                                                                                             Rosanne Cash - "September When It Comes " as sung with her father, Johnny, as he was dying
 
"She had only to stand in the orchard, to put her hand on a little crab tree and look up at the apples,
to make you feel the goodness of planting and tending and harvesting at last."
-  Willa Cather
 
"O wild West Wind, thou breath of Autumn's being.
Thou, from whose unseen presence the leaves dead
Are driven, like ghosts from an enchanter fleeing."
--------Percy Bysshe Shelley
 
"Every gardener knows that under the cloak of winter lies a miracle. . . .
a seed waiting to sprout, a bulb opening to the light, a bud straining to unfurl.
And the anticipation nurtures our dream."
-  Barbara Winkler

2015

"Daffodils,
That come before the swallow dares, and take
The winds of March with beauty."
William Shakespeare, A Winter's Tale, Act 4, Sc. 4

"April is the cruelest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain."
-  T. S. Eliot, The Waste Land, 1922

No occupation is so delightful to me as the culture of the earth, and no culture comparable to that of the garden.
Such a variety of subjects, some one always coming to perfection, the failure of one thing repaired by the success of another . . .

2016

They awaited the return of the sun in a state of deep anxiety. More than the cold they hated the darkness; no amount of prolonged twilight could make up for the unobstructed view of "that beaming star." ---Barry Lopez in Arctic Dreams, on the 1597 Arctic explorers who were forced, icebound, to overwinter in the far north.

All Nature seems at work.  Slugs leave their lair
The bees are stirring, birds are on the wing,
And Winter slumbering in the open air,
Wears on his smiling face a dream of spring."
-   Samuel Taylor Coleridge


Everyone is feeling pretty
It's hotter than July
                                                             ---Stevie Wonder, "MasterBlaster"

"In August, the large masses of berries, which, when in flower, had attracted many wild bees, gradually assumed their bright velvety crimson hue, and by their weight again bent down and broke their tender limbs."
-  Henry David Thoreau

I watch the clouds go sailing
I watch the clock and sun.
Oh, I watch myself, depending on,
September when it comes. ------Rosanne Cash  

"Even if something is left undone, everyone must take time to sit still and watch the leaves turn."

Elizabeth Lawrence 



"Nature has undoubtedly mastered the art of winter gardening
and even the most experienced gardener can learn from the unrestrained beauty around them."
-  Vincent A. Simeone 


POEMS USED

Autumn Day
Lord: it is time.
The summer was so immense.
Lay your shadow on the sundials,
and let loose the wind in the fields.
Bid the last fruits be full;
give them another two more southerly days,
press them to ripeness,
and chase the last sweetness into the heavy wine.
Whoever has no house now will not build one anymore.
Whoever is alone now will remain so for a long time,
will stay up, read, write long letters and wander the avenues,
up and down, restlessly, while the leaves are blowing.

- Rilke

From "Ode to the West Wind"

"O thou,
Who chariotest to their dark wintry bed
The winged seeds, where they lie cold and low,
Each like a corpse within its grave, until
Thine azure sister of the spring shall blow
Her clarion o'er the dreaming earth."
---Percy Bysshe Shelley

February
by Mary Ellen Gabriel

Winter blues, they call it
Though that sounds too cool and minty
For this old, flat, crawling fug
Snow in the windowbox
Peeling garage
Funny how a view can bring you down
Remind you of nothing more
Than the day before
When afternoon seeped out of the cracks in the sidewalk
And you sat at the kitchen table looking out at the patio
Where, last spring, red and yellow tulips bloomed
And you drank a beer with dirt under your nails.

Originally published in Madison Magazine, February 2009

Loud are the thunder drums in the tents of the mountains.
Oh, long, long
Have we eaten chia seeds
and dried deer's flesh of the summer killing.
We are tired of our huts
and the smoky smell of our clothing.
We are sick with the desire for the sun
And the grass on the mountain.

-----Paiute Winter Song

"April is the cruelest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain."
-  T. S. Eliot, The Waste Land, 1922

    "It is the thirtieth of May,
    the thirtieth of November,
    a beginning or an end,
    we are moving into the solstice
    and there is so much here
    I still do not understand."

- Adrienne Rich,
Toward the Solstice

________________________

MULCHING

Me in my bugproof netted headpiece kneeling
to spread sodden newspapers between broccolis,
corn sprouts, cabbages and four kinds of beans,

prostrate before old suicide bombings, starvation,
AIDS, earthquakes, the unforeseen tsunami,
front-page photographs of lines of people

with everything they own heaped on their heads,
the rich assortment of birds trilling on all
sides of my forest garden, the exhortations

of commencement speakers at local colleges,
the first torture revelations under my palms
and I a helpless citizen of a country

I used to love, who as a child wept when
the brisk police band bugled Hats off! The flag
is passing by, now that every wanton deed

in this stack of newsprint is heartbreak,
my blackened fingers can only root in dirt,
turning up industrious earthworms, bits

of unreclaimed eggshell, wanting to ask
the earth to take my unquiet spirit,
bury it deep, make compost of it.

‘ ”Maxine Kumin

 

The poet Adrienne Rich died on March 27th, 2012. Here is one of her most oft-cited poems.

What Kind of Times Are These
By Adrienne Rich

There's a place between two stands of trees where the grass grows uphill
and the old revolutionary road breaks off into shadows
near a meeting-house abandoned by the persecuted
who disappeared into those shadows.

I've walked there picking mushrooms at the edge of dread, but don't be fooled
this isn't a Russian poem, this is not somewhere else but here,
our country moving closer to its own truth and dread,
its own ways of making people disappear.

I won't tell you where the place is, the dark mesh of the woods
meeting the unmarked strip of light‘ ”
ghost-ridden crossroads, leafmold paradise:
I know already who wants to buy it, sell it, make it disappear.

And I won't tell you where it is, so why do I tell you
anything? Because you still listen, because in times like these
to have you listen at all, it's necessary
to talk about trees.