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Much of Browning's poetry is difficult reading. He condenses a great deal of thought into one phrase or word and leaves much to the imagination of the reader. His short poems are comparatively simple and melodious.
Discussion. 1. Browning wrote this poem while in Italy; read the lines that show his longing for England. 2. What word gives the idea that spring comes suddenly in England? 3. What are the signs that the poet associates especially with early spring? 4. Commit to memory the lovely description of the thrush's song. 5. Notice the beautiful setting given to the thrush; which words add especially to the beauty of the picture? 6. How will “noon-tide wake anew the buttercups"? 7. Tell why buttercups are "the little children's dower.” 8. To what flower in Italy is the buttercup compared? 9. Describe in a few lines what you love best in the springtime in your home. 10. Contest: Who can read the entire poem most effectively? 11. Class reading: “Go Down to Kew in Lilac-time,” Alfred Noyes (from "The Barrel-Organ" in Poems); “Een Napoli,” Thomas Augustus Daly (in High Tide); "Apple Blossoms," William Wesley Martin (in The Elson Readers, Book Six). Compare these poems with “Home-Thoughts from Abroad.” 12. Find in the Glossary the meaning of: bole; rapture; dower. 13. Pronounce: elm-tree; chaffinch; dew; gaudy.
A VAGABOND SONG
There is something in the Autumn that is native to my blood-
8 The scarlet of the maples can shake me like a cry
Of bugles going by.
There is something in October sets the gipsy blood astir; 10 We must rise and follow her,
When from every hill of flame
NOTES AND QUESTIONS
Biography. Bliss Carman (1861–) was born in Fredericton, New Brunswick. After he was graduated from New Brunswick University, he studied at Harvard and the University of Edinburgh. Like many other poets, he began his career with journalistic work. He was editor of the Independent and later of the Chap-Book. Most of his time has been devoted to poetry, and he has published many books. His first volume was Low Tide on Grand Pré. Among his later works are Echoes from Vagabondia and April Airs. His poetry shows a remarkable gift in lyric verse and great love and appreciation of nature.
Discussion. 1. To what does the poet say his heart keeps time? 2. Where does he see these colors? 3. How does the color of the maples affect him? 4. What connection do you see between scarlet and the sound of bugles? 5. What color were the asters that appeared like smoke? 6. What connection do you see between this appearance of smoke and the thought of a camp? 7. Whom does the poet say he must follow? 8. What gives the appearance of flame to the hills? 9. What two words used in the third stanza bear out the thought of a camp? 10. Library reading: "Indian Summer," Sara Teasdale (in Rivers to the Sea).
EDITH M. THOMAS
Apple-green west and an orange bar,
Then I sally forth, half sad, half proud,
The dahlias I might not touch till tonight!
In my garden of Life with its all-late flowers
NOTES AND QUESTIONS
Biography. Edith Matilda Thomas (1854–) was born in Chatham, Ohio, and educated at the State Normal Institute. She was a contributor to local newspapers for some time before the publication of her first book, A New Year's Masque, which at once gave her a place among America's poets. Other volumes of poems followed this. The Inverted Torch, In Sunshine Land, and A Winter Swallow are among the best-known volumes.
Discussion. 1. Whose is the voice that speaks in the first stanza ? 2. Why had the dahlias not been cut before? 3. Why was it time to cut them? 4. How did the child feel when told to cut the flowers? Can you explain her feeling? 5. The author compares life to a garden; what things in life may be called its flowers? 6. What Voice speaks in the last stanza? 7. What is the frost that comes to the garden of life? 8. Plan a division of your class into groups or teams, each having three or four members. Each
from selections found or suggested in this book a program for Arbor and Bird Day (Spring or Autumn), the program to be reported in class. Select the three best programs.
*From Poems of Sidney Lanier, copyright, 1884, 1891, by Mary D. Lanier; published by Charles Scribner's Sons.
The ferns and the fondling grass said, "Stay";
Here in the hills of Habersham,
High o'er the hills of Habersham,
Veiling the valleys of Hall,
Deep shades of the hills of Habersham,
And oft in the hills of Habersham,
And oft in the valleys of Hall,
In the clefts of the hills of Habersham,
But oh! not the hills of Habersham,
And oh! not the valleys of Hall
Calls o'er the hills of Habersham,