Poetry Sunday: A Child's Calendar

"November always seemed to me the Norway of the year."-   Emily Dickinson

Leave it to the Belle of Amherst to put things very succinctly.

John Updike had a gift for putting things succinctly and simply as well. He did this very notably in his book, A Child's Calendar. Let's see what he had to say about this time of year.

from A Child's Calendar

by John Updike

The stripped and shapely
Maple grieves
The ghosts of her
Departed leaves.

The ground is hard,
As hard as stone.
The year is old,
The birds are flown.

And yet the world,
In its distress,
Displays a certain


The trees in my yard are not quite stripped of all their leaves yet, but they are disrobing fast. Even so, each season, each month of the year has its "certain loveliness" and that is true of November as well. As we wait for that first killing frost, we enjoy the gray morning mists and the last colorful blooms of the autumn and anticipate the starker shapes of December.


  1. I beautiful poem, Dorothy. Reminds us to look for the loveliness in even the grayest day. P. x

    1. And very fitting indeed for today, Pam, which is a very gray and misty day.

  2. We had our first dusting of snow today, a bit early, but not without some kind of beauty. Love the poem.

    1. Our cold snap is early, also, a few weeks ahead of when we usually get such weather. Perhaps it will be an early winter.


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