Poetry Sunday: November by Elizabeth Drew Stoddard

This rather sweet and evocative poem about autumn was published in 1895 by a poet I had not encountered before. Elizabeth Drew Stoddard was an American poet, born in Massachusetts in 1823. She wrote both poetry and prose. 

In her poem "November," she expresses some of my own feelings about autumn: "For autumn charms my melancholy mind" and... 
"I find sweet peace in depths of autumn woods, 
    Where grow the ragged ferns and roughened moss; 
The naked, silent trees have taught me this,—
    The loss of beauty is not always loss!"
Indeed, the "naked, silent trees" still hold a kind of beauty for me. The loss of the beauty they embodied in spring and summer is not always a loss; it's just a change.  


November

by Elizabeth Drew Stoddard
Much have I spoken of the faded leaf; 
    Long have I listened to the wailing wind, 
And watched it ploughing through the heavy clouds, 
    For autumn charms my melancholy mind. 
 
When autumn comes, the poets sing a dirge:
    The year must perish; all the flowers are dead; 
The sheaves are gathered; and the mottled quail 
    Runs in the stubble, but the lark has fled! 
 
Still, autumn ushers in the Christmas cheer, 
    The holly-berries and the ivy-tree:
They weave a chaplet for the Old Year’s bier, 
    These waiting mourners do not sing for me! 
 
I find sweet peace in depths of autumn woods, 
    Where grow the ragged ferns and roughened moss; 
The naked, silent trees have taught me this,—
    The loss of beauty is not always loss!

Comments

  1. Bare trees have a stark beauty, so different from their beauty during the growing season. Right now we are at the height of color and today is actually mild (47) and sunny. I dread winter, though today it seems so far away.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love the cadence and the message. Great choice, Dorothy!

    ReplyDelete

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