Poetry Sunday: Song for Autumn by Mary Oliver

The autumn described by Mary Oliver in this poem is certainly not the kind of autumn that we experience here in Southeast Texas. Our autumns are more like the summers in much of the country. 

No, Oliver's autumn is the ideal picture-postcard autumn of the northeastern part of the country. It's the perfect autumn that we can only dream of as we swelter in our humid days. 

Song for Autumn

by Mary Oliver

In the deep fall
don’t you imagine the leaves think how
comfortable it will be to touch
the earth instead of the
nothingness of air and the endless
freshets of wind? And don’t you think
the trees themselves, especially those with mossy,
warm caves, begin to think
of the birds that will come – six, a dozen – to sleep
inside their bodies? And don’t you hear
the goldenrod whispering goodbye,
the everlasting being crowned with the first
tuffets of snow? The pond
vanishes, and the white field over which
the fox runs so quickly brings out
its blue shadows. And the wind pumps its
bellows. And at evening especially,
the piled firewood shifts a little,
longing to be on its way.


  1. Mary Oliver is PERFECTION. The poem describe fall here to a tee, and I am anxious for it to arrive. It is tentatively showing itself now, and the morning air is quite cool, but soon the leaves will start to drop in earnest, the first frost will come and all will be well with the world.

  2. Yes, our fall here in the northeast. As David says, our cool nights have already arrived. But maybe there is a Texas poet out there singing the songs of your part of Nature?

  3. That is a great poem. We have a few weeks of beautiful and cool fall weather here in Utah...though it hasn't happened yet. Usually in October. And then we head into winter mode. :p


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