October 17, 2013

No other season has inspired poets and writers like autumn. From Keat’s season of mellow fruitfulness to Browing’s gigantic smile o’ brown old earth, autumn has been celebrated by masterful wordsmiths for time immemorial.

Spring, of course, is the bringer of new life and summer, at best, the extravagant celebration of all that life is.

But it is autumn that wins the poet’s affections.

And winter, that relentless taker of hope, that dark and poisoned mistress who holds us in her bitter grip, harsh but simple, fills not a quarter of the volumes that autumn can. And besides, any pen that celebrated winter has mostly likely done so from the comfort of the fireside and not out among the fields, forest or hills.

Autumn is all of these and none. A bittersweet glance, warming reds and golds yet cool of temperament; bountiful but decaying, racing but dying, always shifting, always changing.

It is in the teasing out her elusiveness that the poet’s heart can be found.

“Spring passes and one remembers one’s innocence,” says Yoho Ono.

“Summer passes and one remembers one’s exuberance.

“Autumn passes and one remembers one’s reverence. Winter passes and one remembers one’s perseverance.”

Enjoy the autumn while you can. She passes too quickly, and all we’re left with is perseverance.

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