Days Are Growing Murky

19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Sunday, November 1, 1914:

Chill winders are howling at us now,

And days are growing murky.

The weeks sweep on onto the doom,

Of the saddened sorrowful turkey.


Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:


Is something wrong? The poem this month seems gloomier than most. You’ve never looked forward to the coming of winter, but other years you also could see that there were also a few upsides to November.

Here are the November poems from previous years:


November now is here again

Upon her scenes we’ll linger

Thanksgiving comes e’er she has gone

We count the days upon our fingers.


November brings us many things

And among them is Thanksgiving

The first of the snow

The winds that blow

And all that makes life worthwhile.


November, hastening before the fool steps of winter,

Brings back the stark realities of life.

It is not all the cup of brimming pleasure.

That crowns the triumph of a common strife.

Monthly Poems

Grandma began every month with a poem. For more details see this post:

Monthly Poem in Diary

27 thoughts on “Days Are Growing Murky

  1. Poor Helena. Wonder what was going on. Long periods of no entries, feeling sorry for the turkey…wonder if she was getting restless…you know since she graduated and all, maybe she needs something new in her life like a job or something. How old was Helena when she got married?
    Diana xo

    1. She was 26 when she got married. When she wrote this entry, it was still more than 6 years until her marriage.

      I also thought that it was interesting that she felt sorry for the turkey–somehow it seems like a more modern perspective.

    1. Yes, I suppose that the war might be affecting her mood–though, based on the diary entries, she never seemed very aware of national or international issues.

  2. I was hoping she would not forget to do her monthly poem. It does sound sad. Although the trip was in August maybe after all that fun she is thinking ahead of winter when there won’t be much fun and I would think a bit more slower on a farm. Hopefully the holidays coming up will lift her spirits. Or maybe a visit from a young man.

  3. Just out of curiousity, I looked up the chronology of WWI and found that, on October 29, Turkey joined the war. That no doubt was in the news, and things were getting quite bad in Europe. The discussions about America’s role in all this were already going on, and it was certainly in the news.

    It is easy to forget the context of peoples’ lives. And yet, they didn’t live in a bubble back then, any more than we do today.

    1. Thanks for sharing the link. It nicely lays out the WWI timeline. You’re right, People don’t live in a vacuum–either then or now. The war sure seemed to be expanding quickly during Fall,1914.

  4. That is cool that she wrote poetry!! Very good ones too!! I used to write it as a kid and early twenties but stopped for some reason! Hugz Lisa and Bear

    1. It’s nice to hear that you like her poetry. And, it’s awesome that you once wrote poetry. Do you ever look at the poems that you once wrote? It seems like the poetry might be a window into what you were thinking and doing when you were young.

    1. I think that I once read that November is typically the cloudiest month of the year across much of the US. It is good that the holidays are coming up.

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