Fall Poems

orange-fallThe four seasons of each year are often the subject of writers and poets. Although not all regions of the world have seasons that are as profoundly obvious as North America and Europe, most people have an understanding of what these seasons are like. And to the poet, each of these four seasons has a symbolic meaning. Whereas spring typically indicates new birth and new beginnings, fall indicates the coming of the harvest, gathering in the fruits of our labors, as well as the foreshadowing of the coming winter months. Each of these ideas has been featured in countless poems and stories, across many cultures and ages. It’s one of those things that really doesn’t change. From the time of the ancient Greeks to children in today’s elementary schools, we find poems about Fall and all that this season traditionally represents.

The Harvest
by Aristophanes

The relationship between fall and the coming of the harvest and winter months are typically connected to the agrarian societies. For those living within towns and cities, the notion of harvest is often replaced with more metaphorical thoughts, such as the idea of aging. If spring indicates the beginning of life, and summer represents the fullness of life, then winter must mean the end of life — which leaves fall to indicate aging and the nearing of the end of life. To be in the autumn of one’s life is to realize that your time is nearly done — death is just around the corner. How people view that, as expressed in poetry is interesting. While some may recognize their coming mortality as something to fear and dread, others see this time of life as a period of celebration — of being grateful for all of the blessings that life has to offer. Perhaps this is the equivalent of the farmer celebrating the bountiful harvest that he finds in the fall of each year. It is more common to find poems concerned about the negative aspects of aging, but on occasion, we find one that takes a much more light-hearted approach to growing old. The ancient Chinese poet, Lu Yu, offers such an insightful moment.

Written in a Carefree Mood
by Lu Yu

Fall is also one of those times of the year when romance seems to be the topic of discussion. Perhaps much of the relationship between fall and romance has to deal with the traditional western school schedule. Many high school students and even college students look forward to the beginning of the school year, traditionally occurring at the end of summer and beginning of fall, because it means opportunities to be reacquainted with people they may not have seen all summer — and especially those with whom they have had some romantic experiences with. Summer romances are replaced by new relationships that form in the beginning months of the new school year. Here is a poem which ties the autumn season, represented by the falling of the leaves, with the growth of a young romance. Of course, all things must come to an end, and this author also adds to the poem the cycle of life that the seasons represent.

Autumn Leaves
Brett Elliot



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