Ronei Harden

Writer | Editor | Educator

Throwback Thursday, Autumn Poetry

October is the month when we officially recognize the change of seasons.

Pumpkin spice becomes the assumed signature autumn flavor and deciduous trees begin their annual shedding of leaves. Temps begin to fall and the air takes on a certain fragrant crispness.

The season of plaid flannel shirts, boots, scarves, and sweaters returns and we find ourselves ready to nestle by the fireplace with a good book and a warm beverage.

The great poets captured the temperate season's glory in these classic selections:

"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; . . ."
(continue reading To Autumn by John Keats

"Know'st thou not at the fall of the leaf 
How the heart feels a languid grief 
Laid on it for a covering, 
And how sleep seems a goodly thing 
In Autumn at the fall of the leaf?" 
(continue reading Autumn Song by Dante Gabriel Rosetti)

"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth; . . . "
(continue reading The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost)

  "I spot the hills
With yellow balls in autumn.
I light the prairie cornfields
Orange and tawny gold clusters
And I am called pumpkins.
On the last of October . . . "
(continue reading Theme in Yellow by Carl Sandburg


What are some of your favorite autumn poems?
Find more works about autumnal splendor at Poetry Foundation or check out the October issue of Poetry Magazine.