I absolutely love October! And one of the reasons I love October aside from the Halloween hoopla is the advent harvest time and all the wonderful colors of the season. Gold, red, and orange abound to cheer up the dreary chilly days in the northeast. They offer solace to the bare branches and the November wind.
Pumpkins are a jolly sight and I love visit farmer markets to survey the fall bounty. There are soups, stews, and hearty muffins waiting to be made. I feel a nesting instinct in the fall – to come inside and rest, relax, and reflect. This harvest time gives me pause to think about sitting down in a cozy spot to read. This week, I was thinking about how pumpkins are quintessential to magical tales both old and new. One of the very earliest tales that included pumpkins was French writer, Charles Perrault’s version of Cinderella. The pumpkin carriage had always intrigued me and a number of years ago a group of 2nd graders and I built our own magic pumpkin carriages. And I have always enjoyed Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow to excite and scare me. Another great pumpkin character, Jack Pumpkinhead, was created by L. Frank Baum in his book, The Marvelous Land of Oz. This character is benevolent instead of scary and display all the wonderful magical qualities that Baum’s characters portray.
I learned something new this week! Jack-o-lanterns were not originally carved from pumpkins! They were carved from potatoes and rutabagas. The tradition comes from Ireland and you can read more about it here: History of Jack-O-Lanterns
In the pumpkin spirit, I decided to create my own poetic form: The Diagonal Poem. The poet decides on a word and then spells that word out in a diagonal fashion throughout each line of the poem.