This season always inspires me to write. I’ve got a few ideas tossing around in my head, but I haven’t had time to sit down and really make something out of them. I will soon.
In the meantime, I’m going to post today’s featured poem on “The Writer’s Almanac”, another website I like. I feel like I’ve been posting a lot of links lately. Oh well.
I’m not sure if it’s related to the air-conditioning in the coffee shop where I’m studying, but I got shivers during the last few lines. I just love how poetry can take those vague ideas and feelings we all have and give them clarity through well-chosen words.
“Fall”, by Edward Hirsch
Fall, falling, fallen. That’s the way the season
Changes its tense in the long-haired maples
That dot the road; the veiny hand-shaped leaves
Redden on their branches (in a fiery competition
With the final remaining cardinals) and then
Begin to sidle and float through the air, at last
Settling into colorful layers carpeting the ground.
At twilight the light, too, is layered in the trees
In a season of odd, dusky congruences—a scarlet tanager
And the odor of burning leaves, a golden retriever
Loping down the center of a wide street and the sun
Setting behind smoke-filled trees in the distance,
A gap opening up in the treetops and a bruised cloud
Blamelessly filling the space with purples. Everything
Changes and moves in the split second between summer’s
Sprawling past and winter’s hard revision, one moment
Pulling out of the station according to schedule,
Another moment arriving on the next platform. It
Happens almost like clockwork: the leaves drift away
From their branches and gather slowly at our feet,
Sliding over our ankles, and the season begins moving
Around us even as its colorful weather moves us,
Even as it pulls us into its dusty, twilit pockets.
And every year there is a brief, startling moment
When we pause in the middle of a long walk home and
Suddenly feel something invisible and weightless
Touching our shoulders, sweeping down from the air:
It is the autumn wind pressing against our bodies;
It is the changing light of fall falling on us.