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,"
"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
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
Rose Berries in Autumn
$12 plus Shipping & Handling
to use any images from the GRHC website may be requested
by contacting Michael