Autumn Comes In Word And Verse.

Photograph by Katerina Plotnikova.
Photograph by Katerina Plotnikova.

The Seven Sorrows.

“The first sorrow of autumn is the slow good-bye of the garden that stands so long in the evening—a brown poppy head, the stalk of a lily, and still cannot go.

The second sorrow is the empty feet of a pheasant who hangs from a hook with his brothers. The woodland of gold is folded in feathers with its head in a bag.

And the third sorrow is the slow good-bye of the sun who has gathered the birds and who gathers the minutes of evening, the golden and holy ground of the picture.

The fourth sorrow is the pond gone black, ruined, and sunken the city of water—the beetle’s palace, the catacombs of the dragonfly.

And the fifth sorrow is the slow good-bye of the woodland that quietly breaks up its camp. One day it’s gone. It has only left litter—firewood, tent poles.

And the sixth sorrow is the fox’s sorrow, the joy of the huntsman, the joy of the hounds, the hooves that pound; till earth closes her ear to the fox’s prayer.

And the seventh sorrow is the slow good-bye of the face with its wrinkles that looks through the window as the year packs up like a tatty fairground that came for the children.”

Ted Hughes.

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