Happy autumn, dear readers. (And apologies for the radio silence!) Here is the Amy Lowell (1874-1925) poem I am living with today. Thinking of all of you, wherever you are.
This afternoon was the colour of water falling through sunlight;
The trees glittered with the tumbling of leaves;
The sidewalks shone like alleys of dropped maple leaves,
And the houses ran along them laughing out of square, open windows.
Under a tree in the park,
Two little boys, lying flat on their faces,
Were carefully gathering red berries
To put in a pasteboard box.
Some day there will be no war,
Then I shall take out this afternoon
And turn it in my fingers,
And remark the sweet taste of it upon my palate,
And note the crisp variety of its flights of leaves.
To-day I can only gather it
And put it into my lunch-box,
For I have time for nothing
But the endeavour to balance myself
Upon a broken world.
I could probably fill this entire blog with poems by the phenomenal Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish (1941-2008).
“I love autumn and the shade of meanings.”
I love autumn and the shade of meanings.
Delighted in autumn by a light obscurity,
transparency of handkerchiefs, like poetry just after
birth, dazzled in night-blaze or darkness.
It crawls, and finds no names for anything.
Shy rain, which moistens only distant things,
(In such autumns, marriage procession
and funeral intersect: the living
celebrate with the dead, and the dead
celebrate with the living.)
I delight to see a monarch stoop,
to recover the pearl of the crown from a fish in the lake.
In autumn I delight to see the commonness of colors,
no throne holds the humble gold in the leaves of humble trees
who are equal in the thirst for love.
I delight in the truce between armies,
awaiting the contest between two poets,
who love the season of autumn, yet differ
over the direction of its metaphors.
In autumn I delight in the complicity between
vision and expression.
Happy October, dear readers. May you feel younger than in all the months of spring.
“The Love of October” by W.S. Merwin (1927-)
A child looking at ruins grows younger
and wants to wake to a new name
I have been younger in October
than in all the months of spring
… walnut and may leaves the color
of shoulders at the end of summer
a month that has been to the mountain
and become light there
the long grass lies pointing uphill
even in death for a reason
that none of us knows
and the wren laughs in the early shade now
come again shining glance in your good time
naked air late morning
my love is for lightness
of touch foot feather
the day is yet one more yellow leaf
and without turning I kiss the light
by an old well on the last of the month
gathering wild rose hips
in the sun.