Wednesday, September 25, 2019

The Human Season

The slow and steady progress
of the seasons never ceases to amaze!

In winter’s tedious nights sit by the fire
With good old folks and let them tell thee tales
Of woeful ages long ago betid;

Richard II, Act V, scene i


Speaking of old folks and old fires . . .

Immortal Autumn

I speak this poem now with grave and level voice
In praise of autumn, of the far-horn-winding fall.

I praise the flower-barren fields, the clouds, the tall
Unanswering branches where the wind makes sullen noise.

I praise the fall: it is the human season.
No more the foreign sun does meddle at our earth,
Enforce the green and bring the fallow land to birth,
Nor winter yet weigh all with silence the pine bough,

But now in autumn with the black and outcast crows
Share we the spacious world: the whispering year is gone:
There is more room to live now: the once secret dawn
Comes late by daylight and the dark unguarded goes.

Between the mutinous brave burning of the leaves
And winter’s covering of our hearts with his deep snow
We are alone: there are no evening birds: we know
The naked moon: the tame stars circle at our eaves.

It is the human season. On this sterile air
Do words outcarry breath: the sound goes on and on.
I hear a dead man’s cry from autumn long since gone.

I cry to you beyond upon this bitter air.

by Archibald MacLeish (1892 – 1982)
in Collected Poems 1917-1982

"September sign off . . . "

Both photos by Missouri Photographer Jay Beets
whose photographs have beautified my blog
many times over the past decade. Thanks!

1 comment:


    The old men rake the yards for winter
    Burning the autumn-fallen leaves.
    They have no lives, the one or the other.
    The leaves are dead, the old men live
    Only a little, light as a leaf,
    Left to themselves of all their loves:
    Light in the head most often too.

    Raking the leaves, raking the lives,
    Raking life and leaf together,
    The old men smell of burning leaves,
    But which is which they wonder -- whether
    Anyone tells the leaves and loves --
    Anyone left, that is, who lives.

    Archibald MacLeish