Poems of October... Poems of Fall

Reply Tue 7 Oct, 2003 07:05 am
Elegy IX: The Autumnal
John Donne

No spring nor summer Beauty hath such grace
As I have seen in one autumnall face.
Young beauties force our love, and that's a rape,
This doth but counsel, yet you cannot 'scape.
If 'twere a shame to love, here 'twere no shame,
Affection here takes Reverence's name.
Were her first years the Golden Age; that's true,
But now she's gold oft tried, and ever new.
That was her torrid and inflaming time,
This is her tolerable Tropique clime.
Fair eyes, who asks more heat than comes from hence,
He in a fever wishes pestilence.
Call not these wrinkles, graves; if graves they were,
They were Love's graves; for else he is no where.
Yet lies not Love dead here, but here doth sit
Vowed to this trench, like an Anachorit.

And here, till hers, which must be his death, come,
He doth not dig a grave, but build a tomb.
Here dwells he, though he sojourn ev'ry where,
In progress, yet his standing house is here.
Here, where still evening is; not noon, nor night;
Where no voluptuousness, yet all delight
In all her words, unto all hearers fit,
You may at revels, you at counsel, sit.
This is Love's timber, youth his under-wood;
There he, as wine in June enrages blood,
Which then comes seasonabliest, when our taste
And appetite to other things is past.
Xerxes' strange Lydian love, the Platane tree,
Was loved for age, none being so large as she,
Or else because, being young, nature did bless
Her youth with age's glory, Barrenness.
If we love things long sought, Age is a thing
Which we are fifty years in compassing;
If transitory things, which soon decay,
Age must be loveliest at the latest day.
But name not winter-faces, whose skin's slack;
Lank, as an unthrift's purse; but a soul's sack;
Whose eyes seek light within, for all here's shade;
Whose mouths are holes, rather worn out than made;
Whose every tooth to a several place is gone,
To vex their souls at Resurrection;
Name not these living deaths-heads unto me,
For these, not ancient, but antique be.
I hate extremes; yet I had rather stay
With tombs than cradles, to wear out a day.
Since such love's natural lation is, may still
My love descend, and journey down the hill,
Not panting after growing beauties so,
I shall ebb out with them, who homeward go.
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Reply Tue 7 Oct, 2003 07:53 am
Cav -- You are so young to introduce such an nice poem about lovers in the autumn of their years! Makes me feel all warm & fuzzy inside. Very Happy I've been impressed before with your extensive hold on Donne -- Thanks!

To Autumn

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.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep,
Drows'd with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cyder-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 mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

John Keats
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Reply Tue 7 Oct, 2003 07:58 am
'T was just this time last year I died

'T was just this time last year I died.
I know I heard the corn,
When I was carried by the farms,--
It had the tassels on.

I thought how yellow it would look
When Richard went to mill;
And then I wanted to get out,
But something held my will.

I thought just how red apples wedged
The stubble's joints between;
And carts went stooping round the fields
To take the pumpkins in.

I wondered which would miss me least,
And when Thanksgiving came,
If father'd multiply the plates
To make an even sum.

And if my stocking hung too high,
Would it blur the Christmas glee,
That not a Santa Claus could reach
The altitude of me?

But this sort grieved myself, and so
I thought how it would be
When just this time, some perfect year,
Themselves should come to me.

Emily Dickinson
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Reply Tue 7 Oct, 2003 08:00 am
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.

Robert Frost
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Reply Tue 7 Oct, 2003 08:30 am
I was a precocious child, and still am. Very Happy

October rains down colour on our brows
the leaves, copper-clad, and falling slowly
weep for Daphne, nymph, Apollo's first love,
God of the sun, punished for his wisdom,
and so the sun is banished from these times,
and the trees bend, shed their veneer of youth,
mourning for the jealousy of Eros,
insulted by Apollo's cruel taunting.
Eros eyed his two-tipped arrows, and thought
"Gold gives one love, but lead takes love away,
Apollo shall get gold, and Daphne lead,
and both shall know of true love's dual head."
To this day, the autumn's dying foliage
crys for love, disgust, jealousy and us.

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Reply Tue 7 Oct, 2003 08:33 am
Wow! I'm blown away. That is magnificent! Good on ya, Cav!!!!
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Reply Tue 7 Oct, 2003 08:40 am
Thanks Piffka!!
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Reply Tue 7 Oct, 2003 09:09 am
Very Happy Hey, I was so blown away (like the little leaves) it stopped me cold (!) from posting this next poem. Here it is though... just think, you're firmly enscounced now for me, 'tween Keats and Wordsworth.

This doesn't mention October or fall or Autumn, but anybody from the country knows this is the time for gathering nuts. The starting of this poem, I love. The way it ends? It is what I believe.


--It seems a day
(I speak of one from many singled out)
One of those heavenly days that cannot die;
When, in the eagerness of boyish hope,
I left our cottage-threshold, sallying forth
With a huge wallet o'er my shoulders slung,
A nutting-crook in hand; and turned my steps
Tow'rd some far-distant wood, a Figure quaint,
Tricked out in proud disguise of cast-off weeds
Which for that service had been husbanded,
By exhortation of my frugal Dame--
Motley accoutrement, of power to smile
At thorns, and brakes, and brambles,--and, in truth,
More ragged than need was! O'er pathless rocks,
Through beds of matted fern, and tangled thickets,
Forcing my way, I came to one dear nook
Unvisited, where not a broken bough
Drooped with its withered leaves, ungracious sign
Of devastation; but the hazels rose
Tall and erect, with tempting clusters hung,
A virgin scene!--A little while I stood,
Breathing with such suppression of the heart
As joy delights in; and, with wise restraint
Voluptuous, fearless of a rival, eyed
The banquet;--or beneath the trees I sate
Among the flowers, and with the flowers I played;
A temper known to those, who, after long
And weary expectation, have been blest
With sudden happiness beyond all hope.

Perhaps it was a bower beneath whose leaves
The violets of five seasons re-appear
And fade, unseen by any human eye;
Where fairy water-breaks do murmur on
For ever; and I saw the sparkling foam,
And--with my cheek on one of those green stones
That, fleeced with moss, under the shady trees,
Lay round me, scattered like a flock of sheep--
I heard the murmur, and the murmuring sound,
In that sweet mood when pleasure loves to pay
Tribute to ease; and, of its joy secure,
The heart luxuriates with indifferent things,
Wasting its kindliness on stocks and stones,
And on the vacant air. Then up I rose,
And dragged to earth both branch and bough, with crash
And merciless ravage: and the shady nook
Of hazels, and the green and mossy bower,
Deformed and sullied, patiently gave up
Their quiet being: and, unless I now
Confound my present feelings with the past;
Ere from the mutilated bower I turned
Exulting, rich beyond the wealth of kings,
I felt a sense of pain when I beheld
The silent trees, and saw the intruding sky.--

Then, dearest Maiden, move along these shades
In gentleness of heart; with gentle hand
Touch--for there is a spirit in the woods.

William Wordsworth
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beowulf the mighty
Reply Thu 9 Oct, 2003 12:34 pm
These are some awsome poems
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Reply Thu 9 Oct, 2003 01:27 pm
Thanks Piffka for this thread. I'm just marking so I can come back to read and post later.
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Reply Thu 9 Oct, 2003 02:33 pm
Thanks Mighty Beowulf (love the name), Thanks Dream!

Here are three sighs of Autumn Rain, plus another poem of Autumn from Du Fu, who surely knew how much rain could fall.

I'm dedicating these to satt_focusable who introduced ancient Chinese poetry to me and whom we sadly never see on a2k anymore.

Sigh 1
In autumn rain, the grasses rot and die,
Below the steps, the jueming's colour is fresh.
Full green leaves cover the branches like feathers,
And countless flowers bloom like golden coins.
The cold wind, moaning, blows against you fiercely,
I fear that soon you'll find it hard to stand.
Upstairs the scholar lets down his white hair,
He faces the wind, breathes the fragrance, and weeps.

Sigh 2
The last of autumn's winds blows in slanting, swirling rain,
The four seas and eight deserts join together in one cloud.
A horse going, an ox coming, cannot be distinguished,
How now can the muddy Jing and clear Wei be told apart?
The standing grain begins to sprout, the millet's ears turn black,
All the farming families now are left without hope.
In the city, a bucket of rice can be exchanged for a silken quilt,
And both the buyer and seller have to agree the bargain is fair.

Sigh 3
In Chang'an there are so many ordinary people,
Locked behind their gates and guarding their walls.
The old men don't go out, the weeds grow tall,
Children blithely walk through wind and rain.
The rustling rain hastens the early cold,
And geese with wet wings find high flying hard.
This autumn we've had no glimpse of the white sun,
When will the mud and dirt become dry earth?

My Cottage Unroofed By Autumn Gales
In the eighth month autumn's high winds angrily howl,
And sweep three layers of thatch from off my house.
The straw flies over the river, where it scatters,
Some is caught and hangs high up in the treetops,
Some floats down and sinks into the ditch.
The urchins from the southern village bully me, weak as I am;
They're cruel enough to rob me to my face,
Openly, they carry the straw into the bamboo.
My mouth and lips are dry from pointless calling,
I lean again on my cane and heave a sigh.
The wind soon calms, and the clouds turn the colour of ink;
The autumn sky is black in all directions.
My ancient cotton quilt is cold as iron,
My restless children sleep badly, and kick it apart.
The roof leaks over the bed- there's nowhere dry,
The rain falls thick as hemp, and without end.
Lost amid disorder, I hardly sleep,
Wet through, how can I last the long nights!
If I could get a mansion with a million rooms,
I'd give all scholars joy and shelter from cold.
Solid as a mountain, the elements could not move it.
Oh! If I could see this house before me,
I'd happily freeze to death in my broken hut!
Reply Thu 9 Oct, 2003 04:35 pm
I've been racing around so much lately on my 'Dean duties' that I didn't even see this thread until now.

Lots of good ones posted.

here's my offering for now
(by Canadian poet Bliss Carman)

'Vagabond Song'

There is something in the autumn that is native to my blood --
Touch of manner, hint of mood;
And my heart is like a rhyme,
With the yellow and the purple and the crimson keeping time.

The scarlet of the maples can shake me like a cry
Of bugles going by.
And my lonely spirit thrills
To see the frosty asters like a smoke upon the hills.

There is something in October sets the gypsy blood astir;
We must rise and follow her,
When from every hill of flame
She calls and calls each vagabond by name.

(((Piff))) Thanks for starting this thread!!
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Reply Thu 9 Oct, 2003 06:31 pm
colorbook wrote:
The Autumn
Go, sit upon the lofty hill,
And turn your eyes around,
Where waving woods and waters wild
Do hymn an autumn sound.

Colorbook! "Do hymn an autumn sound"... isn't that great? I apologize for not recognizing your contribution and saying hello! I see that we posted at nearly the same time a couple of days ago -- that's my excuse, but still, it is a little lame. Nevertheless, this is a wonderful poem, so lyrical, and from such a fine poet. Thank you for adding it. Please bring more, you've obviously got excellent taste. :wink:

In fact, I wouldn't have noticed my lapse, except Jjorge (Hi Jjorge!) had posted the poem by Bliss Carman. Gee whiz, I thought I had posted that poem and went a'looking. Am I losing it? Did I just read it and PLAN to post it? I am trying to think if I posted it somewhere else, or just loved it and was going to do so later. Maybe it was in connection with the other guy that Mr. Carman sometimes wrote vagabond stuff with... tapping head... hoping for brain to work again... nope, no luck.

Anyway, THANKS, Jjorge. A thousand thanks. I want to be a vagabond and smell the smokey smells. I love this poem. I love autumn. I LOVE poems about autumn.
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Reply Thu 9 Oct, 2003 07:45 pm
Oh. I am so pleased. Tonight is the full moon. (Actually it happened at 2:24am this morning, but who's counting... it will rise full this evening.) In the mail this afternoon I received a packet of poetry that included this poem.

Thanks from the bottom of my heart to my very timely poem purveyor! Wink

A thousand thoughts of tender vague regret
Crowd on my soul, what time I stand and gaze
On the soft-shining Autumn Moon; and yet
Not to me only speaks her silvery haze.

9th Century
Japanese Buddhist Poetry
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the prince
Reply Fri 10 Oct, 2003 04:11 am
WOW !! This is gorgoeus !!!

Havent written any poems for autumn this year (wrote 2 last year) - but probably because I am been so busy - havent had time to enjoy Autumn properly....
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Reply Fri 10 Oct, 2003 06:23 am
Hey, SuperG. Time to go kick some leaves?? I'll bet that big old park fills with them and is wonderful about now.
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the prince
Reply Fri 10 Oct, 2003 06:29 am
Give that park a few more days !!!! And I shud have some more time on my hands !! Maybe inspiration will strike regarding a new poem - gosh havent written anything for months now !!!!
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Reply Sun 12 Oct, 2003 06:06 am
September Song

When I was a young man courting the girls
I played me a waiting game,
If a maid refused me with tossing curls
I'd let the old Earth make a couple of whirls,
While I plied her with tears in lieu of pearls
And as time came around she came my way,
As time came around, she came

But, it's a long, long while from May to December
And the days grow short when you reach September
the Autumn weather turns the leaves to flame
and I haven't got time for the waiting game

Oh, the days dwindle down to a precious few,
....September, November,
And these few precious days I'll spend with you,
These precious days I'll spend with you.
(Written by: M. Anderson and Kurt Weill)
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Reply Sun 12 Oct, 2003 06:16 am
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satt fs
Reply Sun 12 Oct, 2003 03:51 pm

Sigh 1
In autumn rain, the grasses rot and die,
Below the steps, the jueming's colour is fresh.
Full green leaves cover the branches like feathers,
And countless flowers bloom like golden coins.
The cold wind, moaning, blows against you fiercely,
I fear that soon you'll find it hard to stand.
Upstairs the scholar lets down his white hair,
He faces the wind, breathes the fragrance, and weeps.

The following is an experiment of the pinyin transliteration of the original poem by Du Fu above.

Qiu Yu Tan
Du Fu

Yu zhong bai cao qiu lan si,
Jie xia jue ming yan se xian.
Zhu ye man zhi cui yu gai,
Kai hua wu shu huang jin qian.
Liang feng xiao xiao chui ru ji,
Kong ru hou shi nan du li.
Tang shang shu sheng kong bai tou,
Lin feng san xiu sheng xiang qi.

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