Poetry Review: “October” by Robert Frost

rfcoverEach year, October seems to arrive much sooner than we would like. For those of us in the North Country, October means the end: of summery days, of days of green, of sleeping with our windows open. Dry warm days and changing colors remind us that winter is just around the corner. Beauty and death as always go hand in hand.

Here is a poem about October by Robert Frost.

Enjoy!

 

October

O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
Tomorrow’s wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.
The crows above the forest call;
Tomorrow they may form and go.
O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow.
Make the day seem to us less brief.
Hearts not averse to being beguiled,
Beguile us in the way you know.
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!
For the grapes’ sake, if they were all,
Whose leaves already are burnt with frost,
Whose clustered fruit must else be lost—
For the grapes’ sake along the wall.

 

Listening with a pencil and my ear, these are the lines I marked:

Hearts not averse to being beguiled,
Beguile us in the way you know.
Release one leaf at break of day;
At noon release another leaf;
One from our trees, one far away.

These are the lines of someone well acquainted with the bitter-sweet beauty of October in the north.

Pardon the un-intentional pun, but fall and winter belong to Frost. He is the poet of northern climes. So much a part of the American language that we cannot look at birches or snowy evenings or October without soon thinking of his lines. That is the true power of art and poetry.

 

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