The seasons are timeless. This volume presents fifty poems of the seasons from America's most popular 19th century monthly magazine, Godey's Lady's Book. The poems take us on a journey from the bare branches of early spring, to hot summer days and quiet summer evenings, to the first hints of autumn and into the howling winds and snows of winter. As the first plants begin to emerge from the ground in spring, we leave the warmth of our houses ready for a new beginning. Energized, we bask in longer and warmer days. Summer means outdoor fun and socializing, but it can also slow us down with its heat. Then the days get shorter, the air gets colder, the wind seems more ominous, and we know that a change will come. Although many of us love the fall and winter, for others our reaction is to hunker down, bundle up, and retreat just a bit until spring returns. These are near universal experiences for those of us living in climates where the seasons change, and these are the cycles of our lives. I hope you will enjoy the sensuality of these poems: that you will see the colors, hear the sounds, and feel the air change as you move through the year. Godey's Lady's Book, begun in 1830 and edited after 1836 by Sarah Josepha Hale, was one of the most popular magazines in nineteenth century America reaching every state and territory. Reading its poetry, authored by both amateurs and professionals, allows us to share in the emotional and intellectual experiences of these Americans in a unique way. I hope you enjoy listening to their voices, and that you will find a commonality with their experience.
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Deborah L Halliday, M.A., Ed.D., first became interested in Godey’s poetry in the 1980s while she was working on a masters degree in American Studies at the University of Massachusetts-Boston. She began collecting bound volumes of the magazine and today has a collection that includes almost the entire run of Godey’s and of Hale’s earlier publication, the Ladies’ Magazine. This volume of Godey’s poetry is the result of her many hours spent page turning, reading, and prospecting for forgotten poems in the books’ old dusty pages. She thinks it was worth it.
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