The first arrival for me came Tuesday, when I emerged from my car, and was hit at mid-day with a gust of breeze that had a cool leading edge. The breezes have had warm or hot edges til now. The coolness was lovely and refreshing and it sent me off on a search for how to express the coming arrival poetically. There are lots of springtime poems. One of my favorites for that season is G.M. Hopkins’ What is so beautiful as spring, when weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush; thrushes’ eggs look little low heavens . . . ?
Autumn has fewer admirers, but I found some good ones new to me. I already knew the aforesaid poet Hopkins’ poem Spring and Fall–to a Young Girl, which is a meditation on youth, growth, and death. But I wanted something fresh and found several. Keats’ To Autumn was a revelation, as were the autumnal poetry of Frost, and Rilke, Shelley, Wallace Stevens, and somebody named Shakespeare.
The one I want to share with you is by the modern poet Mary Oliver, a favorite of UUs for two generations. One verse of hers that appears in our hymnal is
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
Her poem “Song for Autumn” asks us more questions
Rev. Leland Bond-Upson