Click to expand/collapse all other details Hide this popup frame

Persimmon Harvest

newspaper article
Persimmon Harvest - Volume Of Poems, Fresh And Zestful
PERSIMMON HARVEST by Kate Rennie Archer. Abbey Press, San Francisco 68, pp. Reviewed by RUTH MURRAY JONES
  “Persimmon Harvest” is the intriguing title of Kate Rennie Archer’s latest book of poems. While the casual reader may conclude that this title was chosen because it is the title of the first poem in the book, those who know Kate Rennie Archer, will sense a deep significance and symbolism in her choice of “Persimmon Harvest.” She uses this quatrain as a foreword to the collection: “A little bitter the persimmon grows, But given time there comes a sweetness there Deeper than any fruit of springtime knows Born of the taste of winter in the air.” These lines make her real meaning apparent to the thoughtful reader.
Kate Rennie Archer was born in Glasgow, Scotland, and published her first poem in the Glasgow Weekly at the age of ten. She received five dollars for it. In addition to her academic training, Mrs. Archer holds a nursing certificate, and she was one of the first women soldiers of the British Army. She made maps during World War I, and later was with Western Union. She longed for a career in opera, as a young woman, but married and became a homemaker instead. During her varied and interesting life, she has traveled in all the countries of Europe except Germany, has lived in Malta and Algiers, and had the honor of meeting the Sultan of Turkey. She is a teacher at Dominican Convent in San Rafael, and is also the founder and owner of the Poetry Workshop at 1515 Gough street in San Francisco.
First, last, and always Kate Rennie Archer is a poet. She is a most successful teacher, sparking the imagination of even very young students to a full rich experience of beauty and expression of that beauty so that others may see and share it, and the reason that she can bring out that quality in her students lies in the fact that she herself is so rich in appreciation and understanding of life in all of its facets and fullness. The vigor of her native Scotland is present in her poetry, and there is a fresh clean breath about it which imparts zest to the reader and makes him want to hear more. This is the title poem of her new book: ‘PERSIMMON HARVEST’ “This is persimmon harvest, Scarlet, black laid on orange, Bloom-grey dust on red flagons with green corolla-thorned crowns, “Heart-lamps hold the last flame Of summer, from slow- winded autumn, Burning through sunlit yellows Vine-leaf crimsons and browns. “Gather the goblet-hearts, each thin-tipped finger-held ember Warm with soft, breaking flesh Of the last, bright, summer-fed yield. Savor the over-sweet syrup juice of November, Watching slow leaf-fall fill Dry hill-fallow and field. “Deep in persimmon hollows Burrowing bees lie drowning, Sunk in their Malmsey butts, Their red-walled cellars of wine. Break from the beakered boughs, Autumn-rusted and browning, Cups of exotic vintage, Sweet for your mouths of brine.”
Because of her stated preference for the ballad form, Mrs. Archer’s work frequently assumes a rollicking rhythm which carries the reader along exuberantly to the end of the poem, and having arrived at that point, he finds a neat little surprise line awaiting him to add to his reading pleasure. It is when her keen observant eyes are feasting on natural beauty that Kate Rennie Archer’s poetic skill reaches its summit. Her book has many most quotable poems to substantiate that statement, but we shall whet your appetite with this one. , ‘RED SUMACH’ “Gossamers bind stems of seeded thistles, Spider-like winds sunlight over bushes Where late flourish blows; And the low sun lies Very closely on the shoulder of the mountain Where slow ground-mists rise At the coming-on of evening. “Level light glows through Thin, claret leaves of sumach by the highwayside, Translucent as poured burgandy, wine-dyed; Until brown grass Among green brush, Is gouted with spilt blood where Autumn waits On wounded Summer, dying in the last red trenches Of still sun.” Some critics may accuse this poet of “pathetic fallacy” in her nature poems, but when that technique is used so adroitly and so effectively as it is done by Kate Rennie Archer, “the end must justify the means.” Can anyone who has climbed a bleak mountain fail to respond to the sensory appeal of her lines? ‘CHILL SUMMIT’ “Nothing sounds here but wolf-wail Of wind flow through hill hollow, Where bodiless shrouds drift in pale Whirls of chill rain smoke, and veil Cliff chasms beneath. “Nothing lives here but still death With a mask on his face, And starved winds, crying under their breath At the desolate place.” Near the end of the slim grey volume with its binding band of persimmon color, we find this poem, which again expressed the slightly plaintive note of Autumn which we found in the title poem. This one is called ‘TOWARDS NOVEMBER’ “A little like snowflakes, A little like tears, Tree—drift fills Octobers And closes down years. Air-silence of snowfall, Still days of old age, Wind-wheel of the brown leaf, Last turn of the page, Then green years turn golden, And hours, as day seres, Fall softly . . . like snowflakes, And slowly . . . like tears.”
The cited information was sourced from Electronic Document (email, file) published by in California on December 3rd, 1955 (Ref: p. 14) The author/originator was Daily Independent Journal, San Rafael. This citation is considered to be direct and primary evidence used, or by dominance of the evidence.

This page is within a frameset. View the entire genealogy report of , or surname index or report summary.
Logiciel d'arbre généalogique.

Copyright © 2011 GenoPro Inc. All rights reserved.