Poem Sampler

Fall Poems

Poems to read as the leaves change and the weather gets colder.

by The Editors
Fall Poems

Cycle of Life
Among the Rocks by Robert Browning
Oh, good gigantic smile o' the brown old earth,
This autumn morning! How he sets his bones

Autumn by T. E. Hulme (Thomas Ernest Hulme)
A touch of cold in the Autumn night—
I walked abroad,

November Night by Adelaide Crapsey
Listen. .
With faint dry sound,

Autumn Leaves
Autumn by Grace Paley
What is sometimes called a
tongue of flame

Autumn Song by Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Know'st thou not at the fall of the leaf
How the soul feels like a dried sheaf

The Beautiful Changes by Richard Wilbur
One wading a Fall meadow finds on all sides
The Queen Anne’s Lace lying like lilies

Nature in Autumn
Beyond the Red River by Thomas McGrath
The birds have flown their summer skies to the south,
And the flower-money is drying in the banks of bent grass

Fragment 8: Thicker than rain-drops on November thorn by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Thicker than rain-drops on November thorn

Hendecasyllabics by Algernon Charles Swinburne
In the month of the long decline of roses
I, beholding the summer dead before me,

When the Frost is on the Punkin by James Whitcomb Riley
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock,
And you hear the kyouck and gobble of the struttin’ turkey-cock,

The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both

Sonnet LXXIII: That Time of Year thou mayst in me Behold by William Shakespeare
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,

Mnemosyne by Trumbull Stickney
It’s autumn in the country I remember.

How warm a wind blew here about the ways!

Autumn Begins in Martins Ferry, Ohio by James Wright
In the Shreve High football stadium,
I think of Polacks nursing long beers in Tiltonsville,

The Harvest
Neighbors in October by David Baker
All afternoon his tractor pulls a flat wagon
with bales to the barn, then back to the waiting
chopped field.

Beginning by James Wright
The moon drops one or two feathers into the field.
The dark wheat listens.

Theme in Yellow by Carl Sandburg
I SPOT the hills
With yellow balls in autumn.

The Empty House by Walter De La Mare
See this house, how dark it is
Beneath its vast-boughed trees!

Halloween Party by Kenn Nesbitt
We’re having a Halloween party at school.
I’m dressed up like Dracula. Man, I look cool!

Song of the Witches by William Shakespeare
Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and caldron bubble.

Amoretti LXVII: Like as a Huntsman by Edmund Spenser
Like as a huntsman after weary chase,
Seeing the game from him escap'd away,

My Autumn Leaves by Bruce Weigl
I watch the woods for deer as if I'm armed.
I watch the woods for deer who never come.

Originally Published: May 12, 2006


On April 19, 2009 at 8:32pm Wayne Boyce, Editor wrote:
I love the web page. Thank you. I
am a subscriber to Poetry. I wish
all the poetry in the magazine
weren't so grim and modern.
What happened to Billy Combs?

On September 18, 2010 at 10:29am Joanne Hanscome wrote:
I love the poem Holloween Party by Kenn
Nesbitt. It is very rhyming and comical.
Perfect for this time of year. I love to read
a really good piece of writing. Keep up the
good work, Kenn!

On December 13, 2010 at 7:51am Philo wrote:
I feel my intrest in poetry has a place in

society here.


On September 23, 2011 at 2:35pm Marilyn Kallet wrote:
"Assurance," by William Stafford, should be on here!

On September 23, 2011 at 3:54pm Tim Dyson wrote:
Wright's poem "Autumn Begins in Martin's Ferry, Ohio"
is my favorite autumnal poem of all time. The wistfulness harkens back to earlier days of youth
when healthy descendants of men broken by work and age hurl themselves into the autumn night. Thanks for including this poem among your choices.

On September 26, 2011 at 12:21pm Linda Dini Jenkins wrote:
Thank you! My favorite season . . . but don't forget Bill Matthews'
wonderful poem, "Moonlight in Vermont" . . .

On September 27, 2011 at 10:27am Danielle wrote:
A sprinkling of city-dwellers' autumn poems would add a
little spice.

On October 17, 2011 at 2:44am TORREY PARHAM wrote:
I really appreciate poems they take the mind further to new heights and places un imagined. I myself am working on a poetry book . During my 1+ year incarceration I learned more about Me during that time than my 29 years living .I wrote about 51 poems that really helped me get through my sentence . Have you ever read a poem and cried ? thought about things and how you could change them, been through complete turmoil and survived. These events shape you and what does not put you to rest only makes you stronger I believe poems give the mind added strength which is knowledge.

On November 2, 2011 at 8:38pm Ann Engelman wrote:
How about this fall poem by Lorine Niedecker


We must pull
the curtains—
we haven't any

On September 18, 2012 at 9:31pm Jenna wrote:
Lovely selection, though a few more women would be nice! One that comes to mind is Edna St. Vincent Millay, "O world I cannot hold thee close enough..."

On October 8, 2012 at 3:31am Tutu Miller wrote:
Shakespeare still wins with the fall poetry

On October 30, 2013 at 2:12pm Pat wrote:
I heard a poem several years ago, a husband and wife leaves were
the last two leaves to fall they held on as long as they could, and one
fell leaving the other hanging on alone. Can,t find the poem anywhere

On November 4, 2013 at 4:49pm Mary Hamrick wrote:
This is how I feel about autumn.


Autumn is like an old book:
Marred spines turn mean yellow,
staples rust red-orange.

Every stained page is stressed
by a splat of color. Rough-red,
like an old tavern,

we become hungry birds
and prepare for fall.
Shape and shadow are candied citron

as lanterns turn bitter yellow. Autumn
is a red fox, a goblet filled with dark wine,
a hot chilli pepper with smoky eyes.

Pressed leaves take in the colors
of seafood paella and saffron; these leaves
are like death, climaxing with a smile.

Autumn: Her dress is a net of mussels;
dark shelled, it covers up
summer’s weather-beaten body.

So pull out your boots
and stand on an aged, wood floor
like an evergreen.

On November 8, 2013 at 9:22pm ML Adams wrote:
I am grateful for the seasons, and even tho i have been in Florida for a long time, I still experience them, au contraire! Just returend form a trip to the Northeast and Canada and great reminders of foliage changin, maple syrup time,etc.....but returned and remembered some other things I was grateful for...I wish to share:

A Thankful time of Year

Looking out a window, gazing at the morning sun,
One can see a lot of people, apparently “on the run,”
Packing cars for work or school with all their modern gear
Immediately our thoughts can redirect to that time so long ago
When our first ancestors came ashore and always tried to show
Each moment and situation as “a thankful time of year.”

They were armed with daily ambitions and led a wholesome Godly life,
Faced momentary decisions and monumental strife
They bonded with each other calling friend and foe their peer
Not exercising out in gyms for which they had to pay
But experiencing some good hard work from dawn til end of day
And singing hymns on Sabbath to celebrate “a thankful time of year.”

I’ve always been suspicious of just one day that’s set aside
To remember and be grateful for life’s things we all abide
Or using Thanksgiving as a day for groups out hunting deer
Why can’t we each show gratitude for each and every thing;
From arising and having that first cup of coffee to seeing birds on the wing,
Noting each event as “a thankful time of year.”

Like bending over, or tying shoes, or smiles on passersby,
Reminiscences of friends who have passed, and bright clouds in the sky,
Cars that start, storms that pass, a“pill-slicer” too, (not meant for jeer)
A microwave, refrigerator, an AC’d home, friends and family,
A nation made upon ideals “from sea to shining sea.”…
Remembering and keeping each and every day “a thankful time of year!”

ML Dewey Adams
© October 2013


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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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