Friday, September 30, 2011

Remembering in Full Color

Such a beautiful picture of summer Mr. Grahame renders with his words:

In the winter time the Rat slept a great deal, retiring early and rising late. During his short day he sometimes scribbled poetry or did other small domestic jobs about the house; and, of course, there were always animals dropping in for a chat, and consequently there was a good deal of story-telling and comparing notes on the past summer and all its doings.

Such a rich chapter it had been, when one came to look back on it all! With illustrations so numerous and so very highly coloured! The pageant of the river bank had marched steadily along, unfolding itself in scene-pictures that succeeded each other in stately procession. Purple loosestrife arrived early, shaking luxuriant tangled locks along the edge of the mirror whence its own face laughed back at it. Willow-herb, tender and wistful, like a pink sunset cloud, was not slow to follow. Comfrey, the purple hand-in-hand with the white, crept forth to take its place in the line; and at last one morning the diffident and delaying dog-rose stepped delicately on the stage, and one knew, as if string-music had announced it in stately chords that strayed into a gavotte, that June at last was here. One member of the company was still awaited; the shepherd-boy for the nymphs to woo, the knight for whom the ladies waited at the window, the prince that was to kiss the sleeping summer back to life and love. But when meadow-sweet, debonair and odorous in amber jerkin, moved graciously to his place in the group, then the play was ready to begin….

~ Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows, Chapter 3, The Wild Wood

Pure poetry.


Jodi said...

This has always been one of our family's favorite chapter books. My children would affectionately call their dad ol' Badger. And on my huband's 40th birthday, we had a Wind in the Willows birthday party. I'm Mole, btw.

jlt said...

I love this book. It's been popping up all over lately and I'm thinking I need to pull our copy out to read again to whomever wants to listen.

Lori said...

I only wish I were more familiar with those particular flowers, the better to picture the pageant. What would a comparative description for this arid western U.S. be like, I wonder?