Autumn Harvest

Autumn Harvest: Selected Poems

Copyright Date: 2002
Pages: 337
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  • Book Info
    Autumn Harvest
    Book Description:

    Autumn Harvest brings a decade of Stanley Frost's poems together in one anthology that is varied in both style and content. Spiced with humour, children's verses, Chaucerian-style narratives, and incisive historical and political comments, the poems offer religious and philosophical meditations on matters both timely and timeless. Whether he is capturing a sunset in a Hampstead garden, conveying the emotional impact of Trudeau's funeral, recounting the imperishable story of Abelard and Heloise, saluting the vitality and universality of the English language, distilling the magic of Christmas, or drafting a prequel to Paradise Lost, Stanley Frost writes to be understood.

    eISBN: 978-0-7735-8190-6
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
    (pp. vii-viii)
    Peter McNally

    MAKING LEAPS OF FAITH look easy is a particular gift of Stanley Frost. And the leaps of faith have been many. In the 19508 he accepted an invitation to leave Britain to teach at McGill. Throughout a distinguished career, he has successfully undertaken a range of positions: Old Testament scholar, Dean of Divinity, Dean of Graduate Studies and Research, Vice-Principal, and University Historian. Steady streams of books, monographs and journal articles have emerged at every stage of his career. As an ordained minister he has dealt with a variety of congregations, and faced the constant challenge of reconciling belief and...

    (pp. ix-xvi)
    Stanley Frost
  5. 1993 Something for My Friends
    (pp. 1-48)

    Slowly they lengthen, these later years of life,

    made blessed-rich by unimpaired good health

    and joys of work, conceived and planned

    and carried thru to satisfying end.

    Surely I live in Keats’ autumnal hours,

    which flow on warm and sunshine-filled

    until my ranging, treasure-finding thoughts,

    like to his nectar-bearing bees,

    are lulled into the fool’s conceit

    that these maturing days will never cease.

    One only wisdom lies within my choice:

    to glean the orchards and the vines

    while fruits still ripen in the sun.

    In latest fall each apple plucked,

    each cluster of wine-ready grapes,

    is one more stolen from...

  6. 1994 Days of Grace and Favour
    (pp. 49-100)

    When I was a small boy,

    the layer of rich marzipan,

    icing the sumptuous Christmas cake,

    was always left till the last,

    to be enjoyed as the best of the feast.

    When I reached maturer years,

    the last glass of the wine,

    foretelling the end of the talk,

    was savoured with more care,

    allowed to linger awhile on the palate.

    Now that I am supernumerus,

    these days of grace allowed to me,

    are received one by one with gratitude,

    and used with careful good intent –

    and much enjoyment in the living.

    So now’s the time to ponder ancient prayers:


  7. 1996 Drawn at a Venture
    (pp. 101-138)

    Poems are loosed from a bow

    drawn at a venture.

    None knows where, or when, or if,

    they will find a target.

    I drove home from the university

    along the mountain’s lower slopes.

    Above me on the hillside, I glimpsed a runner,

    moving steadily across the mountain-face,

    choosing a path that mounted towards the summit.

    He had accepted a stiff challenge

    and was meeting it with courage.

    I stopped the car to watch him run,

    revelling in his stamina – I could feel

    the resilience of ankle, foot and calf,

    the strong thrust of the thighs,

    the steady, smooth response of...

  8. 1999 Memoranda Moments for Recollection
    (pp. 139-196)

    These winter mornings are well worth waking to.

    The world begins as grey,

    lighter and darker shades of grey,

    but uniformly grey, from sky to ground –

    except for the branches before my window,

    which are black, stark bare black,

    sparsely powdered here and there with snow,

    which in the half-light is also grey.

    Beyond the tree, the houses across the way

    are dull and lifeless, no hint of any wakening

    escapes their tightly-curtained windows.

    The first sign of life comes with the squirrel,

    doing his daily high-wire balancing act

    along the power lines, and thence

    leaps to the tree, in...

  9. 2000 A Tale of Two Books
    (pp. 197-242)

    They are still on my shelves,

    two books of modern English verse,

    but since they date from my schooldays,

    their modernity began with the post-Victorians,

    and ended in the nineteen twenties –

    can you imagine back so far?

    I read them in the years when I was growing up,

    years, as we slip into a new millennium,

    I can only now assess and begin to understand.

    A dreadful war won, but still haunting,

    an economic blight, still smothering,

    a yet more dreadful war, still threatening,

    a sense of corporate guilt,

    and social disillusionment

    all too prevalent.

    It is a wonder we...

  10. 2001 Millennial Melange
    (pp. 243-290)

    The year two thousand and one,

    the opening of a new millennium,

    what can we look forward to?

    Another thousand years of much the same?

    the planet where ‘every prospect pleases,

    and only man is vile’?

    Or will we build on our successes,

    the United Nations, the International Red Cross,

    médecins sans frontières,

    all peoples concerned for all peoples?

    Will we win renown through-out the galaxy

    as the Planet of Positive Peace?

    Hope springs eternal in the human breast,

    or it would be no longer human,

    and needs must choose the highest

    if we but dream it ...

    Even before...

  11. Gold Frankincense and Myrrh
    (pp. 291-316)

    Christmas has so many happy memories and

    associations, that it is a magical time for us all. It is

    a season especially for children, but as our years pass,

    it grows in significance rather than diminishes, and

    speaks increasingly profoundly to our reflective

    minds. Christmas begins as bible story, blends into

    a very special kind of fairy-tale, matures into legend,

    strengthens into myth, and finally transcends to

    truth – awesome truth. Consequently, I have been

    prompted to bring together pieces I have written

    over the years, to provide an invitation to not one

    but many different Christmases, all of them I...

  12. INDEX
    (pp. 317-320)