Thursday, 19 September 2013

Day 426: Harvest Moon 2013

'The harvest moon has come,
Booming softly through heaven, like a bassoon.' 

Tonight it's the Harvest Moon, the most famous of all the full moons. Why? Because it's the biggest of them (the moon appears closest to the earth) and the most orange in colour (reflection of light from the earth's atmosphere).

It's also been a favourite muse for writers, poets, artists and musicians for a long time. No doubt because of its striking appearance, but also everything it represents: change, letting go & moving on, fortune, symbol of a new season.

The Harvest Moon - Ted Hughes

The flame-red moon, the harvest moon,
Rolls along the hills, gently bouncing,
A vast balloon,
Till it takes off, and sinks upward
To lie on the bottom of the sky, like a gold doubloon.
The harvest moon has come,
Booming softly through heaven, like a bassoon.
And the earth replies all night, like a deep drum.

So people can't sleep,
So they go out where elms and oak trees keep
A kneeling vigil, in a religious hush.
The harvest moon has come!

And all the moonlit cows and all the sheep
Stare up at her petrified, while she swells
Filling heaven, as if red hot, and sailing
Closer and closer like the end of the world.

Till the gold fields of stiff wheat
Cry `We are ripe, reap us!' and the rivers
Sweat from the melting hills.

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