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Rose Berries in Autumn

By Nina Farley Wishek, Ashley Jubilee Edition
The Ashley Tribune, Ashley, North Dakota, 1938; reprinted by North Plains Press, Aberdeen, South Dakota, 1983 (illustrations by author), softcover, 86 pages


This lovely 86-page softcover book is illustrated with decorative sketches from Nina Farley Wishek's visual talent. With these motherly treasures, Nina shares, "To my children and grandchildren I affectionately leave these thoughts and experiences of a long life."

Nina writes in the Foreword, "The title given to this small volume of verse was selected in part because the wild rose is the North Dakota State flower, and also because the rose-berry shows the ripened fruit in the autumn of life - a title fitting and typical to the life of the writer. In allowing the release of this collection of thoughts and experiences, I am hoping that old friends, and the pioneers of a rapidly passing generation may derive moments of reminiscent pleasure in turning and scanning the pages. Perhaps I was thinking of them as I wrote these homely stories of the frontier."

The poems are grouped into three collections. In Nina's collection of "Pioneer and Western Poems," she reflects the joy of dreams and hopes - along with sacrifice of Unknown Trails. Her poem "The Pioneers," stanza one:

    "We are the valiant pioneers,
    Who came the winding road,
    Into the wide untrammeled West
    With shovel, pick and load;
    Out to a land of hopes and dreams
    Through smoky rims of blue;
    With patient, plodding oxen teams,
    We blazed the trail for you."


Nina's collection of "Poems of Meditation and Sentiment" includes "They Scintillate" revealing a contentment for the unfettered truths. Her poem "The Truth" provides final rebuttal on this theme of ephemeral versus spiritual liberty. "Inception" reveals Nina's amusement with the joy and humor of being a poetess, a trustee of word sounds.

Nina's sense of whimsy is reflected in her collection, "A bit of nonsense now and then is relished by the wise men." This summary of whimsy and wisdom shows great competence in Nina's "Life has Its Way."

In her poem, "To Dakota", stanza four, Nina gives her toast:

    "The prairies sleep, while ages keep
    The Land so true,
    Supremely blest of all the West,
    For me, and you.
    O, broad and grand Dakota land
    So leal and true,
    Of all the West I love you best
    So, here's to you."

Her poem, "The Prairie" (Before the Drouth), stanza eight:

    "A vast and living checker-board
    The game - I love it so:
    In green and black or blue and gold
    As seasons come and go."

The Germans from Russia Heritage Collection is pleased that the Wiskek family of Ashley, North Dakota, shares Rose Berries in Autumn by Nina Farley Wishek. Also available is Along the Trails of Yesterday: A Story of McIntosh County by Nina Farley Wishek.


Rose Berries in Autumn

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North Dakota State University Libraries
Germans from Russia Heritage Collection
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