(Nov 29th to Dec 5th)

Format: Triple

Summer has little time for enamel-work or leaf-embroidery. Her sisters bring the gifts—Spring, wind-flowers, Solomon’s-Seal, Dutchman’s-breeches, Quaker-ladies, and trailing arbutus, that smells as divinely as the true May. Autumn has golden-rod and all the tribe of asters, pink, lilac, and creamy white, by the double armful. When these go the curtain comes down,


This is from “Leaves from a Winter Notebook”, in Letters of Travel (1892-1913). It describes Kipling’s delight in the turn of the seasons in Vermont, where he had made his home after marrying Caroline Balestier.

‘I’ll come over every year after this,’ he said, in a burst of delight, as we ran between two ten foot hedges of pink and white may. ‘It’s seeing all the things I’ve ever read about. Of course it doesn’t strike you that way. I presume you belong here? What a finished land it is! It’s arrived. Must have been born this way… a man oought to be able o write novels with his left hand in country like this. .


This is from “My Sunday at home” in The Day’s Work. It describes the delight of a visiting American in the English summer landscape, seen from a train. But at the next station., through a hilarious misunderstanding, he gets involved in an embarrassing encounter with a gigantic navvy…

Buy my English posies !
Here’s your choice unsold !
Buy a blood-red myrtle-bloom,
Buy the kowhai’s gold
Flung for gift on Taupo’s face,
Sign that spring is come
Buy my clinging myrtle
And I’ll give you back your home !


This is from “The Flowers”, a celebration of the wonderful diversity of flowers and birds in the lands of the Empire; this verse recalls Kipling’s visit to New Zealand in 1891.