Autumn can be so many things. There are some years when summer seems to pack up her bags and disappear in the space of just a few days.
Other times there’s a delicious lingering of warmth so that autumn seems to be merely a softer, more gentle version of what has gone before:
“The trees glittered with the tumbling of leaves;
The sidewalks shone like alleys of dropped maple leaves,
And the houses ran along them laughing out of square, open windows.”
from ‘September, 1918’ by Amy Lowell
This selection of poems captures one of poetry’s favourite seasons in all its variety and opulence, bringing us ripe pears, twittering swallows and children gathering berries, alongside the early-evening switching on of TVs and the drawing of curtains.
Poems by Emily Brontë, Maggie Dietz, Kahlil Gibran, Jane Hirshfield, John Keats, Ted Kooser, Amy Lowell, Freya Manfred, Vinode Ramgopal and RS Thomas.
Cover illustration by Alexandra Buckle.