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Autumn

  • I've never known anyone yet who doesn't suffer a certain restlessness when autumn rolls around. ... We're all eight years old again and anything is possible.

    • Sue Grafton,
    • "Long Gone," in Marilyn Wallace, ed., Sisters in Crime 4 ()
  • Autumn is the best season in which to sniff, and to sniff for pleasure, for this is the season of universal pungency.

  • It was one of those perfect English autumnal days which occur more frequently in memory than in life.

  • Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.

    • George Eliot,
    • letter (1840), in J.W. Cross, ed., George Eliot's Life as Related in Her Letters and Journals ()
  • Autumn comes to the sea with a fresh blaze of phosphorescence, when every wave crest is aflame. Here and there the whole surface may glow with sheets of cold fire, while below schools of fish pour through the water like molten metal.

  • When autumn shadows throw their patterns across the land, they are not the images of fragile, dying leaves, not the bared arms of lofty elms, not shadows of a fading summer; but swinging shapes as of books upon a strap, of round and square boxes held under an arm, of hurrying little people heading toward the nearest school ...

    • Djuna Barnes,
    • "Our School's Open Again; We're Glad to Get Back," in Brooklyn Daily Eagle ()
  • ... I know that Beauty must ail and die, / And will be born again, — but ah, to see / Beauty stiffened, staring up at the sky! / Oh, Autumn! Autumn! — What is the Spring to me?

  • ... an autumn day on the desert contains every season. ... Before dawn it was bitter winter, with the stars sparkling in the black desert sky. At six there was a short spring. The mountains were rosy and suddden thunderstorms moving down from Snow Peak dampened the sand and set loose the scents of all the countless flowers that had blossomed and perished there. By noon it was blazing summer. ... Sundown would bring the day and the season into some congruity. Dusk brought not only nightfall, but the year's fall as well, a real autumn of an hour's duration.

  • Autumn is an unkindly thing / In a town.

  • Spring is strictly sentimental, self-regarding; but I burn more careless in the autumn bonfire.

  • ... autumn days have a holiness that spring lacks ... They are like old serene saints for whom death has lost its terror.

  • Autumn in felted slipper shuffles on, / Muted yet fiery ...

  • ... autumn arrives in the early morning, but spring at the close of a winter day.

  • The red leaves take the green leaves' place, and the landscape yields. We go to sleep with the peach in our hands and wake with the stone, but the stone is the pledge of summers to come.

    • Emily Dickinson,
    • c. 1874, in Mabel Loomis Todd, ed., Letters of Emily Dickinson, vol. 2 ()
  • Autumn begins to be inferred / By millinery of the cloud / Or deeper color in the shawl / That wraps the everlasting hill.

    • Emily Dickinson,
    • in Thomas H. Johnson, ed., The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson ()
  • All those golden autumn days the sky was full of wings. Wings beating low over the blue water of Silver Lake, wings beating high in the blue air far above it. Wings of geese, of brant, of ducks and pelicans and cranes and heron and swans and gulls, bearing them all away to green fields in the South.

  • Autumn was blithely indifferent to the tumult in the land that year. Color splashed through the woods as if it had been thrown about by some madcap wastrel who spilled out, during the weeks of one brief autumn, beauty enough to last for years.

  • As dyed in blood the streaming vines appear, / While long and low the wind about them grieves: / The heart of Autumn must have broken here, / And poured its treasure out upon the leaves.

    • Charlotte Fiske Bates,
    • "Woodbines in October," in Edmund Clarence Stedman, An American Anthology 1787-1900 ()
  • Shut up the door: who loves me must not look / Upon the withered world, but haste to bring / His lighted candle, and his story-book, / And live with me the poetry of spring.

    • Alice Cary,
    • "Autumn," The Poetical Works of Alice and Phoebe Cary ()
  • Some brave chrysanthemums still stood in the country gardens, but they looked like bedraggled survivors of a battle, barely able to hold their tattered banners upright. October was at the gates and autumn was in full retreat.

  • The trees change their voices in autumn as well as their shapes. No longer do they whisper to one another in muffled tones as they did in summer; they talk in a different leaf-language now. The wind moves through the boughs like fingers drawn across the strings of a harp filling the air with the harsh dry sound of sapless leaves. It is the main theme of the autumn music, this murmuring counterpoint of dead leaves.

  • Autumn is full of leave-taking. In September the swallows are chattering of destination and departure like a crowd of tourists, and soon they are gone.

  • Elm leaves fill the air, / falling in swift cadenzas, / half tones of yellow, brown on brown, / repeated figures hurtling down, / diminishing in form and sound / till colors whisper on the ground.

  • We come back to autumn, / to zucchini that wilt like witches' shoes ...

    • Margaret Hasse,
    • "A Notch in the Spiral," Stars Above, Stars Below ()
  • On the steppes of Siberia, fall does not arrive with a great show of flaming leaves; it comes in with a great howling wind. ... I thought that all the wolves of Siberia had gathered there at the mine to devour us.

  • The October breeze catches the cold wet sheets you are hanging on the line. Leaves fall, and trees keep up a gentle undulating dance of branches, like old people nodding their heads in resignation as the children leave home.

  • Here and there on the branch of an oak a congress of leaves still clung, rigid as flakes of bronze.

  • The lush green of the fields became a rich gold that swayed sturdily under the wind and fell at last before the hands of the reapers.

  • Autumn, a season of earth's maturing, asks that we also be mature. For upon our human nature it makes a double demand. It asks that we prepare for the future — that we be wise in the ways of garnering and keeping. But it also asks that we learn to let go — to acknowledge the beauty of sparseness.

    • Bonaro Overstreet,
    • "Mists and Mellow Fruitfulness," in Jean Beaven Abernethy, Meditations for Women ()
  • The essence of autumn, an unbearable concentration of nostalgia. Surely no human spirit, however insensitive, however complacent, could withstand this powerful reminder of the dying of a season ...

  • It was a heavenly day, aflame with autumn.

  • Autumn begins to decorate the ground / with its fragile bits of loosened gold.

    • Teresita Fernández,
    • "Every Day That I Love You," in Margaret Randall, ed., Twentieth Century Poetry by Cuban Women ()
  • Something told the wild geese / It was time to go. / Though the fields lay golden / Something whispered, — 'Snow.' / ... / Something told the wild geese / It was time to fly, — / Summer sun was on their wings, / Winter in their cry.

    • Rachel Field,
    • "Something Told the Wild Geese," Branches Green ()
  • There's frost upon the air tonight, / a hint of coming cold; / still, the warmth / of summer lingers / in the crimson / and the gold.

  • ... autumn glows upon us like a splendid evening; it is the very sunset of the year ...

  • The cool, bright days, / The calm, bright days, / With their liberal-hearted noons! / The clear, still nights, / The restful nights, / With their greatening harvest-moons ...

  • Nature lies, disheveled, pale, / With her feverish lips apart, / Day by day the pulses fail, / Nearer to her bounding heart.

    • Elaine Goodale,
    • "Goldenrod," in Elaine Goodale and Dora Read Hill Goodale, In Berkshire With the Wild Flowers ()
  • The spirit of the year, like bacchant crowned, / With lighted torch goes careless on his way; / And soon bursts into flame the maple's spray, / And vines are running fire along the ground.

  • Autumn burned brightly, a running flame through the mountains, a torch flung to the trees.

  • The Sussex lanes were very lovely in the autumn. I started going for long lone country walks among the spendthrift gold and glory of the year-end, giving myself up to the earth-scents and the sky-winds and all the magic of the countryside which is ordained for the healing of the soul.

  • I like the gray / November day, / And bare, dead boughs / That coldly sway / Against my pane. / I like the rain. / I like to sit / and laugh at it — / And Tend / My cozy fire a bit, / I like the fall — / The mist and all --

  • The end is come in thunder and wild rain / Autumn has stormed the golden house of summer.

    • Fanny Kemble,
    • in Margaret Armstrong, Fanny Kemble: A Passionate Victorian ()
  • Autumn writes her signature in the zinnias.