Two Autumn Poems

Every year I print these two poems. One was composed in the Connecticut River Valley in the 1950s. The other is from Provence ca 1925…

October Dawn

October is marigold, and yet
A glass half full of wine left out

To the dark heaven all night, by dawn
Has dreamed a premonition

Of ice across its eye as if
The ice-age had begun its heave.

The lawn overtrodden and strewn
From the night before., and the whistling green

Shrubbery are doomed. Ice
Has got it spearhead into place.

First a skin, delicately here
Restraining a ripple from the air;

Some plate and river on pond and brook;
Then tons of chain and massive lock

To hold rivers. Then, sound by sight
Will Mammoth and Sabre-tooth celebrate

Reunion while a fist of cold
Squeezes the fire at the core of the world,

Squeezes the fire at the core of the heart,
And now it is about to start.

By Ted Hughes, Collected Poems

Autumn

I love to seem when leaves depart,
The clear anatomy arrive,
Winter, the paragon of art,
That kills all forms of life, and feeling
Save what is pure and will survive.

Already now the changing chains
Of geese are harnessed at the moon:
Stripped are the great sun-clouding planes:
And the dark pines, their own revealing.
Let in the needles of the moon.

Strained by the gale the olives whiten
Like heavy wrestlers bent with toil
And, with the vines, their branches lighten
To brim our vats where summer lingers
In the red froth and sun-gold oil.

Soon on our hearth’s reviving pyre
Their rotted stems will crumple up:
And like a ruby, panting fire,
The grape will redden on your fingers
Through the lit crystal of the cup.

By Roy Campbell, Selected Poems

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