August 3 is my five year anniversary for doing Word of the Week. It began with the word “leal” on August 3, 2009. (http://leogrin.com/CimmerianBlog/category/robert-e-howard/word-of-the-week/page/5/ about half way down the page.)
Going into its sixth year, the current Word of the Week is “sere.” Some of the words that have been featured were used by REH in more than one poem. I plan to focus a second time of some of those words and see how REH used them in a different poem. Additionally, for the first several years there was no forum for adding any more information or comments about any of the verses so that information will be new also.
1. dried or withered
[origin: before 12th century; Middle English, from Old English sear dry; akin to Old High German soren to wither, Greek hauos dry, Lithuanian sausas]
Now is the lyre of Homer flecked with rust,
And yellow leaves are blown across the world,
And naked trees that shake at every gust
Stand gaunt against the clouds autumnal-curled.
Now from the hollow moaning of the sea
The dreary birds against the sunset fly,
And drifting down the sad wind’s ghostly dree
A breath of music echoes with a sigh.
The barren branch shakes down the withered fruit,
The seas faint footprints on the strand erase;
The sere leaves fall on a forgotten lute,
And autumn’s arms enfold a dying race.
[from “Autumn”; to read the complete poem, see The Collected Poetry of Robert E. Howard, p. 315; Robert E. Howard Selected Poems, p. 115 and Always Comes Evening, p. 43]