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Autumn

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The rusty leaves crunch and crackle,
Blue haze hangs from the dimmed sky,
The fields are matted with sun-tanned stalks —
Wind rushes by.

The last red berries hang from the thorn-tree,
The last red leaves fall to the ground.
Bleakness, through the trees and bushes,
Comes without sound.

Poetry, December 1935 (age 10). See this poem in its original context.
Source: Poetry (February 2013)
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Autumn

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  • Joan Mitchell (1925–1992) was born in Chicago and educated at Smith College and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She was among the leading Abstract Expressionist painters in New York in the fifties, and in 1955 began dividing her time between New York and France. In 1968 she settled permanently in Vétheuil, France, where she lived and worked the rest of her life. Over her career of more than fifty years, she produced a body of paintings and works on paper that represents one of the stunning artistic achievements of the second half of the twentieth century. Mitchell’s work can be seen in museums and public collections around the world.

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