Top 10 Poems about Autumn
Written by: Catalogs.com Editorial Staff
August 31, 2011
Filed Under Holidays
Contributed by Lindsay Shugerman, Catalogs.com Top 10 Guru
Autumn is the season of apple cider, back-to-school and colorful leaves.
The season has also been an inspiration for poets throughout the ages. Looking for some inspiration of your own? Here are the some of the very best of the poems about autumn.
10. Fall By Jack Prelutsky
This short poem starts our list of the best poems about autumn off on a humorous note every child (and adult) can understand.
The leaves are yellow, red and brown,
A shower sprinkles softly down
And the air is fragrant, crisp and cool,
And once again, I’m stuck in school.
9. To Autumn by William Blake
Blake’s ode to autumn is a celebration of all autumn brings, from the sights and smells to the vibrant colors of the season. He personifies Autumn as a welcome guest who came to share his bounty, then “…then rose, girded himself, and o’er the bleak hills fled from our sight; but left his golden load.”
8. By an Autumn Fire by Lucy Maud Montgomery
This Canadian author best known for her “Anne of Green Gables” series had a different view of Autumn. She wrote about Autumn’s chilly, windy weather as a song seeking the lost joys of summertime.
“…It is seeking, sighing,
Something lost in the summer olden.
When night was silver and day was golden”
7. The Autumn by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Romantic poet Elizabeth Barret Browning wrote about Autumn as a metaphor for life, comparing its loss and chill to the loss of loved ones and the process of aging. But her view is not sad. This long-time favorite among poems about autumn reminds us that despite the bare branching and chilling winds of Autumn, the essence of the world (and our loved ones) remain firm.
“..Look out o’er vale and hill-
In spring, the sky encircled them –
The sky is round them still.”
6. As Summer into Autumn Slips by Emily Dickinson
The solitary poet Emily Dickenson was often a keen observer of human nature, and this autumn poem is no exception. Like Browning, she was aware of the parallel between the changing seasons and the seasons of life. But she also observed how we hide from that reality of aging, by celebrating summer, then hesitating to even talk about the Autumn that follows “…so we evade the charge of Years”.
5. Ode To Autumn by John Keats
Keats ode celebrates the bounty of the “Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness…” with descriptions of the fruits, sounds and scents of the season. Although he too mentions the Spring, it’s not to bemoan its loss, but to warn the reader not to yearn for a season long past when another wonderful season is already at hand.
4. Autumn Day by Rainer Maria Rilke
In a mixture of wistfulness and joy, poet Rainer Marie Rilke acknowledges the divine nature of the seasons, mixing his gratitude for the summer just past with recognition of the fruits of Autumn.
But his poem ends with a sad commentary on this season leading into winter, that leads one to wonder what sadness he had experienced in an Autumn past.
“…Whoever has no house now will not build one
Whoever is alone now will remain so for a long
3. I am the Autumnal Sun by Henry David Thoreau
“I am the autumnal sun,
With autumn gales my race is run…”
Perhaps Thoreau’s time spent in the woods allowed him to feel a connection to nature and the seasons. But whatever the reason, this wonderful poem about invites the reader to experience Autumn from the inside, instead of as a spectator.
2. Autumn Daybreak by Edna St. Vincent Millay
Unlike the other poems about autumn, Edna St. Vincent Millay finds forgotten treasures that were hidden by summer’s abundance.
When, having but to turn my head,
Through the stripped maple I shall see,
Bleak and remembered, patched with red,
The hill all summer hid from me.
1. Nature XXVII, Autumn by Emily Dickinson
This lighthearted, short poem is the perfect choice for number one in the list of poems about autumn. It concludes with:
“…The maple wears a gayer scarf,
The field a scarlet gown.
Lest I should be old-fashioned,
I’ll put a trinket on.”