Tuesday, October 29, 2019


Prosery at dVerse, and Bjorn has
asked us to consider a line from a
Louise Gluck poem …"This is the
barrenness of harvest or pestilence",
….a line to which I find I take
exception...nor do trees give up their
souls, as in the poem. My sympathy to
the poet.
Submitted to dVerse
October 27, 2019

The phrase  “barrenness of harvest”  is an oxymoron.    Harvest is  a golden time of thankfulness and celebration of  earth’s bounty when fields, divested  of their gifts, offer the banquet of remnants of harvest for small creatures and flocks of birds on their way to warmer climes.  Having given the last of their gifts, fields lie fallow awaiting winter’s mantle of moisture and nutrients in preparation for Spring when the miraculous process is repeated.  Harvest is reminiscent of hayrides, wiener roasts, glorious displays of gourds and chrysanthemums,  crisp autumn mornings and falling leaves.   Pestilence, on the other hand,  speaks for devastation resulting from disease or epidemic. Trees do not give up their souls, but divest themselves of their garments and prepare for a  long winter slumber, just as we undress,  go to our bed and pull up the blankets for a good night’s sleep.  I find Mrs. Gluck’s view of harvest to be depressing.


  1. I know the sense of harvest being one of bounty, but also I am pulled down a bit of the bareness we leave in the wake of harvest, making it apt to remember those who have left.

    1. I think perhaps our diverse view is cultural, Bjorn, in that in your world it is a time to honor departed ancestors, whereas it's more a happy celebration in my world, and comparing harvest to pestilence is anathema.

  2. I like the viewpoint you took with this, Bev. It is certainly more rewarding.

    1. Thanks. I realize it was not a popular response, but I could not wrap my head around the phrase in any context.