Monday, August 11, 2008

The Scythers

The Scythers, N. C. Wyeth, 1908
I posted this beautiful Wyeth painting earlier, but it is one of my
very favorites and just had to show it again, before the summer is
over. You can feel the hot sun, the thirst of the workers and smell
the freshly cut field. I think it fits this poem by Robert Frost very
There was never a sound beside the wood but one,
And that was my long scythe whispering to the ground.
What was it it whispered? I knew not well myself;
Perhaps it was something about the heat of the sun,
Something, perhaps, about the lack of sound--
And that was why it whispered and did not speak.
It was no dream of the gift of idle hours,
Or easy gold at the hand of fay or elf:
Anything more than the truth would have seemed too weak
To the earnest love that laid the swale in rows,
Not without feeble-pointed spikes of flowers
(Pale orchises), and scared a bright green snake.
The fact is the sweetest dream that labour knows.
My long scythe whispered and left the hay to make.
It takes WT about three solid hours to cut our grass and that
is with a riding mower! And I'm all too happy to have him handle
it! I always get a good chuckle over Susan talking about dealing
with her mower, at 29 Blackstreet, fondly named "The Red
Beast". One thing I do enjoy about mowing, however, is the fresh
scent of newly cut grass! Pam posted on the subject of grass this
week and a poem by Walt Whitman which refers to grass as "the
handkerchief of the Lord". I love that.


  1. Willow...I remember this beautiful painting by Wyeth from happy you've posted it again....perfect for the Frost poem....

    I'm late looking at my favorite blogs ....I've been campaigning for a friend of mine all day long...I am soooo pooped :)

  2. Willow, I love this Wyeth painting..My goodness what a talented family! N.C. was certainly larger than life....

    I also love the smell of fresh cut grass...Hubby mowed on Sat...and it was wonderful to walk out on the front porch and breath in that scent...

  3. My granpa had a scyth. I can remember playing with it. He would litterally mow the grass in his 5 acre orchard. Man those guys worked hard back then! It takes me 2 1/2 hours to mow and trim our 26,000 sq ft lawn with a push mower. I'm getting a rider next year....complete with a cup holder for adult beverages and such. Nice post willow.

  4. I just found your is wonderful, informative and inspiring.

  5. I remember this too....beautiful! I love the colors. I bet the original is breathtaking! I've only cut our grass once...about 18 years ago!

  6. Brings back memories of when I had a riding mower. It was wonderful fun.
    we had a meadow and I mowed almost every day - just for the fun of it.
    Super choice of picture.

  7. Willow I can't imagine what ya'll's yard looks like!!!!!!! Are you sure it's not a pasture? I love a big yard, and open fields, it reminds me of my grandparents farm. I love the smell of fresh cut grass too, it is one of the best smells!!

  8. Beautiful painting by Wyeth--he is one of my all-time favorite people. I'd have loved to have met him. Just oozing creativity.

  9. Willow,
    I like the scent of freshly cut grass too. I guess that is the reward for a job well done. Thanks for sharing the painting and poem. How fitting!
    The Bach

  10. Wonderful Wyeth painting...and poem. I love how you share poety...a favorite love of mine. Happy Days in the scent of newly mown grass... :o)

  11. At first glance I saw angel wings on the little girl, then focused in on the sun bonnet.

    3 hours of mowing! Oy. I don't miss having a lawn....all that upkeep.

  12. This is beautiful. Thank you for reintroducing me to Frost. I'd not read that one. There's way too little of him covered in school. The painting and poem do indeed compliment each other.

    Fascinating blog, I'll keep coming back.


  13. Willow, when I first looked at this painting I thought that the little girl had angel wings. A closer look found a hat. Wyeth was such a great painter - the whole family had talent.

  14. Diva and David, I wonder if Wyeth intentionally painted the girls bonnet to look like wings. Interesting.

  15. Brush, Wyeth is one historical person I would love to have dinner with.

  16. Does anyone else think the scyther in the forground resembles Wyeth himself? (click to enlarge the painting)

  17. Hi Willow, Oh how I do hate to mow with the noisy sputtering, very loud, gas guzzling Red Beast (and if I had a smaller lawn - a rug sized patch preferably I would get an eco friendly push mower and only hear the quiet clip, clip, clip as we strolled around). However, I do agree that there is nothing better than the smell of freshly mown grass or to lie in an expanse of green grass with a dog or two or three nearby and just lie there watching the clouds pass by in a blue, blue sky.

  18. Its COLD here today ... tho last nite was DEVINE sleeping weather .. turned off the AC!!!!

    The warmth I need is coming at me from the painting.

    Willow .. Husband somehow managed to take that little House icon off the Finder tho he insists he didnt touch it ... then the Mac asked if he wanted to revert to defaults .. w/o knowing WHAT that was or would do .. he said YES .. and then when things were not as he expected.... he shut down/rebooted ... by then he had cemented his error ... when I think of all he might have lost w/o our friend's help



  19. Beautiful poem! And NC has always been one of our favorites around here! Both he and Howard Pyle had such a dramatic, storybook style.

  20. Susan, there's nothing quite as therapeutic as lying on your back in the cool green grass and watching the clouds. I highly recomment it. :)

    Daryl, I know! It's been a glorious respite from the heat! Fall is coming, I can feel it! yay!

    Pamela and Edward, I love Wyeth's dramaic and magical style, too.

  21. Your blog has seemed to me to be very interesting and very nice.

    A greeting.

  22. Willow, dear willow what memories this evokes. As a child I bound wheat anr rye sheafs and pricked my bare feet on the stubble. Both my children learned to cythe one golden summer in the bckwoods of the Austrian alps. The scent reawakened daydreams with your lovely blog. Thank you.

  23. The Wyeths are quite the painting dynasty!

  24. One has to admire a post that includes Robert Frost & NC Wyeth!

  25. Thanks, Dave, I love them both.

  26. Yes, I always get a chuckle too out of Susan's red beast posts! speaking of that, my garden really needs a good cut too!


Inject a few raisins of conversation into the tasteless dough of existence.
― O. Henry (and me)