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What are some good poems about autumn?

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Quick Answer

Some good poems about autumn are "To Autumn" by John Keats and William Shakespeare's "Sonnet 73: That Time of Year Thou Mayst in Me Behold." Similarly, Helen Hunt Jackson's poem "October" talks about how fall holds in the last of the sun's warmth.

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Full Answer

In his poem, Keats writes about growing fruit and a mature sun that are common in autumn. He goes on to say that fall has its own music, different than the music of spring. Keats talks about the birds, lambs and other animals that enjoy the fall weather and the last bounties of the harvest before winter.

In "Sonnet 73," Shakespeare talks about how the fall season might bring yellow leaves or no leaves at all. He talks about the sun's last twilight of harvest. He laments the inevitable coming cold weather. Shakespeare says that fall is a nourishing time but that the season doesn't last forever. Although the bounty of fall's harvest makes love grow strong, Shakespeare notes that the glows of fall cannot remain to sustain love permanently.

Likewise, "October" talks about the sunset of the warm sun and the harvest season. Jackson says that the warm hues of purple and red occasionally beg for one more dance during autumn. Chestnuts begin to fall from the trees while elm, and birch leaves turn shades of yellow. Jackson writes that the harsh burn of the summer sun is gone when autumn arrives. She says that water in the river runs slow because the water is frightened by the changes in the woods during the autumn season.

In another poem titled "October," Robert Frost describes the fleeting nature of autumn's beauty in the first lines of the poem, "O hushed October morning mild,/ Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;/ Tomorrow's wind, if it be wild,/ Should waste them all." Later, he acknowledges the inevitable progression of time with the lines, "Release one leaf at break of day;/ At noon release another leaf; / One from our trees, one far away./ Retard the sun with gentle mist; / Enchant the land with amethyst./ Slow, slow!"

Sandburg echoes Frost's sentiments in "Autumn Movement" with the plaintive words, "I cried over beautiful things knowing no beautiful thing lasts." At the end of the poem he also pays tribute to the coming winter and acknowledges the inevitability of change with the words, "new beautiful things come in the first spit of snow on the northwest wind/ and the old things go, not one lasts."

In "September Midnight," Teasdale celebrates fall in a different but equally compelling way, describing the incessant chirping of insects on the recently harvested fields. Her words, "Let me remember you, voices of little insects,/ Weeds in the moonlight, fields that are tangled with asters,/ Let me remember, soon will the winter be on us, /Snow-hushed and heavy," also remind the reader that the beauty of fall is short-lived.

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