...it's not dark yet, but it's gettin' there...

September 21, 2005

Wednesday Is Poetry Day

i used to read a poetry message board, where amateur poets went for affirmation. Some of the most common poems, and some of the worst, were poems about Autumn. Leaves changing color and leaves falling were favorite subjects of these poets. After about two dozen of these, you never want to read another poem about autumn again. It's almost as bad as teenage angst poetry. Well no, nothing is quite as bad as that.

The gold standard for poems about falling leaves was written by Emily Dickinson a long time ago.

Ribbons of the Year―
Multitude Brocade―
Worn to Nature's Party once

Then, as flung aside
As a faded Bead
Or a Wrinkled Pearl
Who shall charge the Vanity
Of the Maker's Girl?

Fall has always been the most introspective season for me. (While i say "introspective," some might call it "moody.") As i approach this year's equinox, i'll keep in mind Dickinson's prayer:

Besides the Autumn poets sing
A few prosaic days
A little this side of the snow
And that side of the Haze―

A few incisive Mornings―
A few Ascetic Eves―
Gone -- Mr. Bryant's "Golden Rod"―
And Mr. Thomson's "sheaves."

Still, is the bustle in the Brook―
Sealed are the spicy valves―
Mesmeric fingers softly touch
The Eyes of many Elves―

Perhaps a squirrel may remain―
My sentiments to share―
Grant me, Oh Lord, a sunny mind―
Thy windy will to bear!

Posted by annika, Sep. 21, 2005 | TrackBack (0)
Rubric: Poetry


Fall is a month? You mean I've had it wrong all this time? Damn!

I love autumn. Best season of the year, by far.

Posted by: Matt on Sep. 21, 2005

Annika - what's the name of this poem? I assume it's Emily Dickinson? Thanks - Jimbino the poetry neophyte.

Posted by: Jimbino on Sep. 21, 2005

I'll match your passion for autumn, Annika; the leaves up in Sacramento can be quite lovely. One of the few things I miss about Northern California was the changing of the leaves.

Posted by: Hugo on Sep. 21, 2005

As i was walking out the door this morning i wondered "did i say month or season?" Dang, Matt, you got me before i had a chance to fix it.

Jimbino, Dickinson did not title her poems, so they are usually referred to by a numbering system or by the first line.

Hugo, as you know, the secret about the Bay Area is that Fall is the most beautiful time of year. Most people think it's rainy but that's when it's clearest.

Posted by: annika on Sep. 21, 2005