Sunday, November 6, 2011

The frost is on the pumpkin

I don't recall ever having read this whole poem, so I went in search of it.

When the Frost is on the Punkin

By James Whitcomb Riley 1849–1916
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock,
And you hear the kyouck and gobble of the struttin’ turkey-cock,
And the clackin’ of the guineys, and the cluckin’ of the hens,
And the rooster’s hallylooyer as he tiptoes on the fence;
O, it’s then’s the times a feller is a-feelin’ at his best,
With the risin’ sun to greet him from a night of peaceful rest,
As he leaves the house, bareheaded, and goes out to feed the stock,
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock.

They’s something kindo’ harty-like about the atmusfere
When the heat of summer’s over and the coolin’ fall is here—
Of course we miss the flowers, and the blossums on the trees,
And the mumble of the hummin’-birds and buzzin’ of the bees;
But the air’s so appetizin’; and the landscape through the haze
Of a crisp and sunny morning of the airly autumn days
Is a pictur’ that no painter has the colorin’ to mock—
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock.

The husky, rusty russel of the tossels of the corn,
And the raspin’ of the tangled leaves, as golden as the morn;
The stubble in the furries—kindo’ lonesome-like, but still
A-preachin’ sermuns to us of the barns they growed to fill;
The strawstack in the medder, and the reaper in the shed;
The hosses in theyr stalls below—the clover over-head!—
O, it sets my hart a-clickin’ like the tickin’ of a clock,
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock!

Then your apples all is gethered, and the ones a feller keeps
Is poured around the celler-floor in red and yeller heaps;
And your cider-makin’ ’s over, and your wimmern-folks is through
With their mince and apple-butter, and theyr souse and saussage, too! ...
I don’t know how to tell it—but ef sich a thing could be
As the Angels wantin’ boardin’, and they’d call around on me
I’d want to ’commodate ’em—all the whole-indurin’ flock—
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock!
Boy did my spell check have a field day with this one. The screen was splashed with so many squiggly red lines it wasn't even funny.
So what do some of those words mean? I went and looked
Fodder-coarse food (especially for cattle and horses) composed of entire plants or the leaves and stalks of a cereal crop
Shock- a pile of sheaves of grain set on end in a field to dry
Hallylooyer= Hallelujah
Stock= Livestock (animals on the farm)
Airly= Early
Tossels= Tassels
Furries= Furrows (rows of crops, I think)
Medder= Meadow
Hosses= Horses


Anonymous said...

The thing in the photo is very pretty - don't know what it is - something useful?

Dr Sonia S V said...

The pumpkin photo is what attracts me so unusual and beautiful

Ginny Hartzler said...

I love the cute pumpkin in the picture! What a coincidence, I looked this up just a day or so ago. To use on my blog. When I saw all these words, I ran a mile!! He he he!!! I'm glad you stuck it out and did some research. Now we know why only the first two lines are quoted!

BeadedTail said...

Cute punkin! What a poem! It looks like words were made up just so they'd rhyme. I would have thought furries meant something else!

GratefulPrayerThankfulHeart said...

Autumn... 'O, it sets my hart a-clickin’ too :) I like this poet. He writes in a similar style as another guy I like, Edgar Guest. Very down-to-earth and descriptive.

Neat pumpkin too ! artsy

Anonymous said...

How funny. Thanks for looking up the words as some of them I never would have figured out... I'd just be sitting her scratching my head and wondering... LOL

Donna said...

Love the pumpkin! And that's a neat poem...wimmen...Hahaa...yep, that's me....

Marg said...

Love that poem. Glad you looked up all those words. I especially like the pumpkin picture. That is different. Hope you all have a great Sunday. Hugs to Duke

Unknown said...

Maybe he was hooked on phonics?

Sandra said...

i have never read the poem either, and only knew the when frost is on the pumpkins, did not even know it is a poem. since I am from the deep deep south, i had no problems with the words,they are all familiar sounds to me. i like the last verse best of all. love your photo and thanks for the poem.

Donna said...

Ha! Hallylooyer is a great twist on the original word!

Sandee said...

Thanks for explaining some of this. Some I got and some I didn't. Cool.

Have a terrific day. My best to Duke. :)

Chatty Crone said...

I don;t think I have ever heard that poem before - it was nice. You really outdid yourself this time and gave us definitions too! sandie

Catherine said...

I didn't even know there was a poem that goes with that saying. Who knew?

xo Catherine

Betsy Banks Adams said...

Great photo of the pumpkin, Ann... Love it... AND --I haven't read that poem for years and years... Love it, even with the crazy words.

Sharkbytes (TM) said...

O Wow! That is one of the poems I was raised on, but haven't heard it since. My grandmother loved JWR.

Lin said...

I knew exactly what all those words meant only because my ears are accustomed to such with my friends in Kentucky. :)

Lovely poem!! Thanks for introducing me to it.

Laura said...

What a treat and a great lesson.
Thank you for the glossary-
as a retired English teacher I love words!

Enjoyed visiting and I am a new follower.

White Spray Paint

Carole Barkett said...

Isn't it amazing how much our language has changed over the years

Tammy said...

What a fun poem. I'm so glad you added what some of the word mean. I really liked Hallylooyer maybe I'll starting using it. LOL

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