Autumn is here!

In my area autumn began a month or so ago when the big oak tree outside my house began to drop acorns which ping continually on the roof and on our car and crunch underfoot. Not much in the way of tree color changes, since it hasn’t got cold enough, but there’s the occasional flash of color from an exposed maple, although not many leaves have fallen yet. The great autumn sock migration has begun, escaping from the washer/dryer so that of five pairs I now have five single socks that don’t match. Why is this? Must I declare sock amnesty and let them creep shamefacedly home, no questions asked?

What does fall mean to you? Start of a new episode, a semester, the beginning of holiday preparations? What’s it like where you live?

Here are a couple of favorite autumn poems. What are yours?

Ode to the West Wind by Shelley

O wild West Wind, thou breath of Autumn’s being,
Thou, from whose unseen presence the leaves dead
Are driven, like ghosts from an enchanter fleeing,

Yellow, and black, and pale, and hectic red,
Pestilence-stricken multitudes: O thou,
Who chariotest to their dark wintry bed

The wingèd seeds, where they lie cold and low,
Each like a corpse within its grave,until
Thine azure sister of the Spring shall blow

Her clarion o’er the dreaming earth, and fill
(Driving sweet buds like flocks to feed in air)
With living hues and odours plain and hill:

Wild Spirit, which art moving everywhere;
Destroyer and Preserver; hear, O hear!   read more


Ode to Autumn by Keats

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.   read more

And from the sublime to the supremely self promotional, you can win a copy of Jane and the Damned or Jane Austen: Blood Persuasion at Dark Jane Austen.


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9 years ago

My favorite autumn poem is “The Autumn” by Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

Go, sit upon the lofty hill,
And turn your eyes around,
Where waving woods and waters wild
Do hymn an autumn sound.
The summer sun is faint on them —
The summer flowers depart —
Sit still — as all transform’d to stone,
Except your musing heart.

I live in the south so most of the trees in my area are still mostly green, but our dogwoods are beginning to turn a rusty red color. I know exactly what you mean about the acorns. We have an oak in the back yard, and they sound like bullets ricocheting off the roof of our storage building. The temperatures are still a little warm, but we usually don’t get very much really cold weather and what we do get usually doesn’t last long.


Janet Mullany
9 years ago

Thanks for introducing me to a new poem, Kathy. It seems this year we have an extra huge acorn crop, or maybe they’re just louder than usual.