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:
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.
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
A poem by John Keats.
After Apple Picking
A poem by Robert Frost.
A poem by Dorothy Parker.
I Am The Autumnal Sun
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.
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.
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.