Autumn in Poetry

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Autumn in Poetry

By Jennifer St. Clair Bush
Poetry Moderator

©2001, Jennifer St. Clair Bush 

Autumn caught me unawares again this year. I blinked in April and when I opened my eyes the summer was gone, a passing memory never to return. The trees have begun to turn. Their leaves cast red and gold flames into the air when the wind blows, reminding everyone that winter is coming soon, and with it, a new year.

I’m not sure if autumn outshines any other season in poetry, but it does host its share of unique occurrences: the harvest, Thanksgiving, Halloween, and the changing of the weather, reminding us all that winter is right around the corner. Autumn is quiet time for me, a chance to look back on my accomplishments or failures of the past year. It gives me a chance to prepare for winter and the coldness that comes with snow and ice.

To me, autumn is the crunch of leaves under my feet when I walk down the street, the chatter of squirrels as they gather food for the winter to come, the bright splash of reds and golds that make my fingers itch for a camera. It is the crispness in the air and the changing of my wardrobe. It is apple cider and pumpkin pie. It is Thanksgiving, the yearly craft show and frost.

The poetry of autumn is usually filled with familiar sights and sounds, but it can also be filled with the smell of a loaf of freshly baked bread, spaghetti sauce simmering on the stove and filling the entire house with the pungent scent of tomatoes, herbs, and spices, or the familiar cry of trick-or-treaters as they walk from door to door in their fantastical costumes.

When you are writing autumn poetry, as with any other season, draw on your own experiences of autumn and share what this season means to you. Your poetry will not only have deeper meaning to both you and your readers, but it will also strike a chord that will bridge whatever gaps you and your readers might possess.

Lost in my thoughts,

I did not notice the passage of the seasons.

Summer fled in the wake of spring’s fury,

And autumn crept in unawares when my back was turned.

I blinked, and the trees were in flame.

The air grew cold against my wondering skin.

I found forgotten money

in the pocket of a jacket I needed to wash.

Perhaps I should

dust off that list of resolutions

while I still have time.

The New Year beckons on the horizon,

and this year is fading fast.