104. A Summer Wooing: Louise Chandler Moulton

This summer I have made very few posts, but have also had relatively few visits. I trust this is because we are all enjoying a summer of reading without an eye on what our adolescent charges might be challenged by.

Let us celebrate the end of the summer with this wistful poem. It has “wooing” in the title, which should get the young charges sounding like a steam train. But the theme is one of a summer dalliance leaving the poor rose behind, dead.

A summer romance that ended? Summer camp friends left behind? A new school? Friends from their last-year’s team apart for this school year (and sitting with their new friends at lunch while they sit, alone, dead, left by the wind!)? To be twelve and suffer a break that no human has every suffered before. To be the rose.

Or the wind!

This is a good poem not only to talk about the transition from summer to fall (i.e., school) but also to introduce, or reintroduce, the idea of symbolism. The rose can represent many things. Have them brainstorm what it might symbolize, and then check out this Wikipedia entry. In the end, what is the author’s intent?

Wind is less formally set in its symbolism, but its image is pretty clear. If you want something more substantial, a quick look at wind in mythology might personify it a bit.

A Summer Wooing
Louise Chandler Moulton

The wind went wooing the rose,
For the rose was fair.
How the rough wind won her, who knows?
But he left her there.
Far away from her grave he blows:
Does the free wind care?


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