14 Poems About Fall To Help Kiss Summer Goodbye
The amount of poetry majors that I went to school with could all fit into a mid-sized van together, comfortably. Needless to say, it wasn't a hugely popular major — even at a creative writing school. That said, I've always known it's a bit of an uphill battle to convince my peers to take the same interest in poetry that I have. It's not for everyone, and for most it's a one in a while, kind of thing. And I understand that, which is why typically I don't try to shove it down anyone's throat — but for these poems about fall, I make an exception.
What I've learned over time is that people are happy to read poetry when it's linked to an important occasion. Like love, or holidays, or seasons. The change of seasons in particular is such a magical time, it acts a a muse to all mediums. That turn, turn, turn in the weather can be so evocative. So it's no wonder that people who are as easily inspired as poets are become obsessed with the seasons. And in such a bittersweet time, where we're forced to say goodbye to our most welcoming season, poetry flourishes. These are seven poems to get you excited about fall and ready to say goodbye to summer, even if poetry is not your jam:
Go, sit upon the lofty hill,And turn your eyes around,Where waving woods and waters wildDo 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.How there you sat in summer-time,May yet be in your mind;And how you heard the green woods singBeneath the freshening wind.Though the same wind now blows around,You would its blast recall;For every breath that stirs the trees,Doth cause a leaf to fall.Oh! like that wind, is all the mirthThat flesh and dust impart:We cannot bear its visitings,When change is on the heart.Gay words and jests may make us smile,When Sorrow is asleep;But other things must make us smile,When Sorrow bids us weep!The dearest hands that clasp our hands, —Their presence may be o’er;The dearest voice that meets our ear,That tone may come no more!Youth fades; and then, the joys of youth,Which once refresh’d our mind,Shall come — as, on those sighing woods,The chilling autumn wind.Hear not the wind — view not the woods;Look out o’er vale and hill —In spring, the sky encircled them —The sky is round them still.Come autumn’s scathe — come winter’s cold —Come change — and human fate!Whatever prospect Heaven doth bound,Can ne’er be desolate.
A poem by Elizabeth Barrett Browning.
November For Beginners
Snow would be the easy
way out—that softening
sky like a sigh of relief
at finally being allowed
to yield. No dice.
We stack twigs for burning
in glistening patches
but the rain won’t give.
So we wait, breeding
mood, making music
of decline. We sit down
in the smell of the past
and rise in a light
that is already leaving.
We ache in secret,
a gloomy line
or two of German.
When spring comes
we promise to act
the fool. Pour,
rain! Sail, wind,
with your cargo of zithers!
A poem by Rita Dove.
All day I have watched the purple vine leavesFall into the water.And now in the moonlight they still fall,But each leaf is fringed with silver.
A poem by Amy Lowell.
Listen. . .With faint dry sound,Like steps of passing ghosts,The leaves, frost-crisp’d, break from the treesAnd fall.
A poem by Adelaide Crapsey.
Ode To Autumn
Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;Conspiring with him how to load and blessWith fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;To bend with apples the mossed cottage-trees,And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shellsWith 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-brimmed their clammy cell.Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may findThee sitting careless on a granary floor,Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;Or on a half-reaped furrow sound asleep,Drowsed with the fume of poppies, while thy hookSpares the next swath and all its twined flowers;And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keepSteady thy laden head across a brook;Or by a cider-press, with patient look,Thou watchest the last oozings, hours by hours.Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,---While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;Then in a wailful choir, the small gnats mournAmong the river sallows, borne aloftOr sinking as the light wind lives or dies;And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble softThe redbreast whistles from a garden-croft,And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.
A poem by John Keats.
After Apple Picking
My long two-pointed ladder's sticking through a tree Toward heaven still. And there's a barrel that I didn't fill Beside it, and there may be two or three Apples I didn't pick upon some bough. But I am done with apple-picking now. Essence of winter sleep is on the night, The scent of apples; I am drowsing off. I cannot shake the shimmer from my sight I got from looking through a pane of glass I skimmed this morning from the water-trough, And held against the world of hoary grass. It melted, and I let it fall and break. But I was well Upon my way to sleep before it fell, And I could tell What form my dreaming was about to take. Magnified apples appear and reappear, Stem end and blossom end, And every fleck of russet showing clear. My instep arch not only keeps the ache, It keeps the pressure of a ladder-round. And I keep hearing from the cellar-bin That rumbling sound Of load on load of apples coming in. For I have had too much Of apple-picking; I am overtired Of the great harvest I myself desired. There were ten thousand thousand fruit to touch, Cherish in hand, lift down, and not let fall, For all That struck the earth, No matter if not bruised, or spiked with stubble, Went surely to the cider-apple heap As of no worth. One can see what will trouble This sleep of mine, whatever sleep it is. Were he not gone, The woodchuck could say whether it's like his Long sleep, as I describe its coming on, Or just some human sleep.
A poem by Robert Frost.
In May my heart was breaking-Oh, wide the wound, and deep!And bitter it beat at waking,And sore it split in sleep.And when it came November,I sought my heart, and sighed,"Poor thing, do you remember?""What heart was that?" it cried.
A poem by Dorothy Parker.
I Am The Autumnal Sun
Sometimes a mortal feels in himself Nature -- not his Father but his Mother stirs within him, and he becomes immortal with herimmortality. From time to time she claims kindredship with us, and some globule from her veins steals up into our own.I am the autumnal sun,With autumn gales my race is run;When will the hazel put forth its flowers,Or the grape ripen under my bowers?When will the harvest or the hunter's moonTurn my midnight into mid-noon?I am all sere and yellow,And to my core mellow.The mast is dropping within my woods,The winter is lurking within my moods,And the rustling of the withered leafIs the constant music of my grief...
A Poem by Henry David Thoreau.
O Autumn, laden with fruit, and stainedWith the blood of the grape, pass not, but sitBeneath my shady roof; there thou mayst rest,And tune thy jolly voice to my fresh pipe,And all the daughters of the year shall dance!Sing now the lusty song of fruits and flowers.
“The narrow bud opens her beauties toThe sun, and love runs in her thrilling veins;Blossoms hang round the brows of Morning, andFlourish down the bright cheek of modest Eve,Till clust’ring Summer breaks forth into singing,And feather’d clouds strew flowers round her head.
“The spirits of the air live on the smellsOf fruit; and Joy, with pinions light, roves roundThe gardens, or sits singing in the trees.”Thus sang the jolly Autumn as he sat;Then rose, girded himself, and o’er the bleakHills fled from our sight; but left his golden load.
A poem by William Blake.
I cried over beautiful things knowing no beautiful thing lasts.
The field of cornflower yellow is a scarf at the neck of the copper sunburned woman, the mother of the year, the taker of seeds.
The northwest wind comes and the yellow is torn full of holes, new beautiful things come in the first spit of snow on the northwest wind, and the old things go, not one lasts.
A poem by Carl Sandburg.
O hushed October morning mild, Thy leaves have ripened to the fall; To-morrow’s wind, if it be wild, Should waste them all. The crows above the forest call; To-morrow they may form and go. O hushed October morning mild, Begin the hours of this day slow, Make the day seem to us less brief. Hearts not averse to being beguiled, Beguile us in the way you know; Release one leaf at break of day; At noon release another leaf; One from our trees, one far away; Retard the sun with gentle mist; Enchant the land with amethyst. Slow, slow! For the grapes’ sake, if they were all, Whose leaves already are burnt with frost, Whose clustered fruit must else be lost— For the grapes’ sake along the wall.
A poem by Robert Frost.
i wear the scarf
your temper weaves
i watch you leaveturn into brown
i rake up piles your ashes on the ground
A poem by Kaitlyn Wylde.
Lyric night of the lingering Indian Summer,Shadowy fields that are scentless but full of singing,Never a bird, but the passionless chant of insects, Ceaseless, insistent.The grasshopper’s horn, and far-off, high in the maples,The wheel of a locust leisurely grinding the silenceUnder a moon waning and worn, broken, Tired with summer.Let me remember you, voices of little insects,Weeds in the moonlight, fields that are tangled with asters,Let me remember, soon will the winter be on us, Snow-hushed and heavy.Over my soul murmur your mute benediction,While I gaze, O fields that rest after harvest,As those who part look long in the eyes they lean to, Lest they forget them.
A poem by Sara Teasdale.
It’s all a farce,—these tales they tell About the breezes sighing, And moans astir o’er field and dell, Because the year is dying.
Such principles are most absurd,— I care not who first taught ’em; There’s nothing known to beast or bird To make a solemn autumn.
In solemn times, when grief holds sway With countenance distressing, You’ll note the more of black and gray Will then be used in dressing.
Now purple tints are all around; The sky is blue and mellow; And e’en the grasses turn the ground From modest green to yellow.
The seed burs all with laughter crack On featherweed and jimson; And leaves that should be dressed in black Are all decked out in crimson.
A butterfly goes winging by; A singing bird comes after; And Nature, all from earth to sky, Is bubbling o’er with laughter.
The ripples wimple on the rills, Like sparkling little lasses; The sunlight runs along the hills, And laughs among the grasses.
The earth is just so full of fun It really can’t contain it; And streams of mirth so freely run The heavens seem to rain it.
Don’t talk to me of solemn days In autumn’s time of splendor, Because the sun shows fewer rays, And these grow slant and slender.
Why, it’s the climax of the year,— The highest time of living!— Till naturally its bursting cheer Just melts into thanksgiving.
A poem by Paul Laurence Dunbar.