BANNER MOUNTAIN GIRL # 18-a visit to the Emerson Inn by the Sea

As a child, growing up on Banner Mountain, I began writing poetry and continued writing it in high school. I loved reading poetry and hearing my teachers discuss poets and their work. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would become a poet. And I certainly never thought that one day I would spend a night at the same Inn by the Sea where Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) had visited, where he had been inspired to write some of his masterpieces.



This lovely bed and breakfast–the Emerson Inn by the Sea–is where Ralph Waldo Emerson sometimes vacationed.  The Inn has been renovated and the renovation left a portion of the original rooms where Emerson had stayed with his family. It was renamed Ralph Waldo Emerson after their most celebrated guest. Much of his inspiration, it is said, came from visiting this rocky coastline of Rockport, Massachusetts.


Rockport -- A Place Beside the Sea

Rockport — A Place Beside the Sea

I visited this romantic place and stayed at this unique Emerson Inn by the Sea with my husband and part of our family a few years ago when we returned to New England to show our children where we had lived. My husband was stationed at Pease Air Force Base, Portsmouth, New Hampshire for three years. We lived in Kittery, Maine when our third child was born. What a treasure to revisit New England, see old friends, begin a new poem, and to set foot on the rocky coast where Emerson once found inspiration to write!

© Freeda Baker Nichols

An Autumn Rose

Among the thorns, I found a yellow rose;
its petals shaped in perfect harmony.
It grew inside a thicket, I suppose
awaiting lovers’ hands to set it free.
I wandered down a path to reach the quay
when autumn wore her wrinkled satin clothes
and there beside the restless, singing sea,
among the thorns, I found a yellow rose.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIts secret place I vowed not to disclose
as light of moon shone on a myrtle tree.
The rose appeared in Mona Lisa pose,–
its petals shaped in perfect harmony.
Although it seemed to beg in silent plea,
without a word I shook my head and chose
to leave the flower in serenity.
It grew inside the thicket, I suppose.
Recalling your last words that quickly froze
my heart like snow in northern Zuider Zee,
I left the yellow bud to decompose,
awaiting lovers’ hands to set it free.
I wish that you and I could still agree
and write love letters in poetic prose
so that our prideful hearts would always be
like autumn roses ready to transpose
among the thorns.

© 2014 Freeda Baker Nichols

(This poem is a Rondeau Redouble. The ocean picture is one I took at Rockport, Massachusetts.
The yellow rose bush grows in Arkansas at the home of Calla Linn. She  graciously gave permission
for her picture to appear here on my blog. Thank you, Calla Linn)