October Poem of the Month: Song for Autumn

Song for Autumn


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.

–Mary Oliver, in New and Collected Poems Vol. II (c)


Journal Prompts

  • Mary Oliver is known as a poet deeply observant of nature. Following her lead, take a walk around your neighborhood or natural world and notice all the signals of October. Write your own praise poem or song for autumn.
  • Write about a time when you came back to earth after a time of being in “the nothingness of air and the endless/ freshets of wind.”
  • What is “whispering goodbye” to you? What “vanishes” leaving only “blue shadows”?
  • Start a write, And at evening especially,/ (I) shift a little,/ longing to be on (my) way.

6 Responses to October Poem of the Month: Song for Autumn

  1. Carol October 27, 2017 at 2:04 pm #

    How personally timely, beautiful and meaningful…..
    Thank YOU.

    • Kay Adams October 28, 2017 at 4:08 pm #

      So glad you enjoyed, Carol! I love it when a poem “lands” in a wonderful and unexpected way.

  2. mara October 28, 2017 at 1:31 pm #

    lovely…inspiring to be more mindful

    • Kay Adams October 28, 2017 at 4:06 pm #

      Thank you, Mara! Poetry always brings me back into my body.

  3. Lynn Morrissey October 30, 2017 at 10:15 pm #

    Kay, I wasn’t familiar with this poem, and thought you had written it, because I saw “by Kay Adams” at the top! 🙂 But you could have! You have a beautiful, poetic bent. This is a lovely poem, and how often the “leaving” of leaves, as they drift from stretched limbs, have spoken to me of letting go. I’ve heeded . . . if reluctantly. They spoke this autumn about saying goodbye, suddenly, to a beloved cousin who collapsed after just one hour in her husband’s presence after her weeklong visit here to St. Louis. She never regained consciousness, and he let got her life support. Goodbyes, especially sudden, unexpected, and unwelcomed ones are painful. But they often lead to life. I believe that Lory said hello to God in person.

    • Kay Adams October 31, 2017 at 7:29 am #

      Lynn, it’s so good to have you here! I’m so sorry about your cousin. What a shock–hard to wrap your mind around it, much less your heart. And yes, we go on. Blessings back!

Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress. Designed by Woo Themes