Bacon on the Bookshelf

Savory picks for the free range reader

Song for Autumn


Nearly a month without rain in Nashville, the trees in their autumn glory look thirsty. My pups stir up a small dust storm each time they go out, pups and dust both finding their way back into the house. The salvia and pincushion flowers smile smugly, content with any state of affairs it seems.

It seems a good day for a Mary Oliver poem…

Song for Autumn
by Mary Oliver

Don’t you imagine the leaves dream now
    how comfortable it will be to touch
the earth instead of the
    nothingness of the air and the endless
freshets of wind? And don’t you think
    the trees, especially those with
mossy hollows, are beginning to look for

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
    stiffens and the white field over which
the fox runs so quickly brings out
    its long blue shadows. The wind wags
its many tails. And in the evening
    the piled firewood shifts a little,
longing to be on its way.

*     *     *


Next up, on my reading list (or at least in the stack)…


  1. Thank you for this. The full moon and the shorter days have had me studying all of the autumn changes. Love how Mary Oliver asks us to join her.

  2. Beautiful poem, fitting for such a brisk day in Nashville!

  3. great to hear this Jennifer.

  4. Any day is a good day for a Mary Oliver poem. Has anyone else personified leaves and trees? She knew them well!

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