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Gathering Leaves

I think I've written about this poem before, but it's meaning is more particular now. Part of Calvin's grammar study is memorizing poems. He memorizes one every month of so, per the recommendations of A Well Trained Mind. Or, actually, that is where the original impetus arose, but now we do it because we enjoy poetry...and because of days like this. We spent a good hour outside this afternoon in a weak but warm afternoon sun trying to rake leaves in a blustery wind. And we did it reciting poetry. Mainly Robert Frost, but a little Coleridge and Keats as well. Leaves, and friends, and snowy woods, nightingales and things of beauty. These are the real reasons we memorize, and recite, poetry together.

Spades take up leaves
No better than spoons,
And bags full of leaves
Are light as balloons.
I make a great noise
Of rustling all day
Like rabbit and dear
Running away.
But the mountains I raise
Elude my embrace,
Flowing over my arms
And into my face.
I may load and unload
Again and again
Till I fill the whole shed, 
And what have I then?
Next to nothing for weight, 
And since they grew duller
From contact with Earth,
Next to Nothing for color.
Next to nothing for use.
But a crop is a crop, 
And who's to say where
This harvest shall stop?

--Robert Frost

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