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Happy Saturday, everyone. My name is Mary Kling, and it is my pleasure to be hosting today’s Poetics for the first time.  All right, I will admit it.  I am VERY excited to be here among the talented and dedicated people of dVerse.

A few weeks ago Karin had us write about summer here in the pub. This week we are going to turn our attention to autumn, which is right over the horizon.

Photo taken by Mary Kling

In the Northern Hemisphere autumn is traditionally thought to begin on the September Equinox. This is not for a few weeks yet, but I am in an autumn state of mind. Children are now back at school. The days are getting shorter. There is often a chill in the air, and more often than not, one carries a jacket. Leaves are beginning to turn to shades of yellow, orange, and red. Harvest is going on all around. And one can hear the cheers of the crowds at  football and baseball games.

I often think about the human life cycle in terms of the seasons. Spring is the time of birth or rebirth, youth, looking forward, dreams. Summer is maturity, a time of good health and vitality, accomplishment. It is a season of green richness and fullness.

I look at autumn as the season of fulfillment, wisdom, and freedom — a season when one also has a sense of one’s own mortality and must find a way to come to terms with it. Autumn of life is a beautiful season, but one knows that the beauty is temporary, to be savored, but will not last. Autumn, to me, is a reflective time when we may spend time looking back (with fondness and nostalgia) and ahead (perhaps some trepidation). We know autumn leads to winter, but for today we won’t go there. Today in the pub we are going to spend time with autumn.

Photo by Mary Kling

I invite you today to contemplate autumn in whatever way feels right to you. This could take you in the direction of exploring its richly colorful beauty, the leaves, the harvest, back to school joys, apple trees laden with ripe apples, geese honking as they head south, apple cider with cinnamon sticks, the cheers of the football crowds. These are the more usual ways of thinking about autumn.

However, perhaps you would like to stretch a bit and  reflect on the metaphoric autumn, the season of life which corresponds to the season. Are you living in the ‘autumn of your life’ now, or are you still in ‘summer’?  What are the tasks of life’s autumn? The symbols?  The joy or the sadness?  What do you fear as you approach ‘winter’?

Or perhaps you could reflect on the autumn of something like love or the autumn of a particular talent or skill.  Put yourself in an autumn state of mind, linger there for a while enjoying the view and the feelings, and see where autumn takes you. Then share with us, so we all can see the same view!

Before I leave you to write your own  poem, I am going to share two favorite short autumn poems I like:

Autumn Fires      by Robert Louis Stevenson

In the other gardens
And all up the vale,
From the autumn bonfires
See the smoke trail!

Pleasant summer over
And all the summer flowers,
The red fire blazes,
The grey smoke towers.

Sing a song of seasons!
Something bright in all!
Flowers in the summer,
Fires in the fall!

Autumn Day by Rainer Maria Rilke

Lord: it is time. The huge summer has gone by.
Now overlap the sundials with your shadows,
and on the meadows let the wind go free.

Command the fruits to swell on tree and vine;
grant them a few more warm transparent days,
urge them on to fulfillment then, and press
the final sweetness into the heavy wine.

Whoever has no house now, will never have one.
Whoever is alone will stay alone,
will sit, read, write long letters through the evening,
and wander along the boulevards, up and down,
restlessly, while the dry leaves are blowing.

–translated by Stephen Mitchell

What to do next

• Write your poem and post it to your blog
• Add a link to your poem via the ‘Mr Linky’ below
• This opens a new screen where you’ll enter your information, and where you also choose links to read. Once you have pasted your poem’s blog URL and entered your name, click Submit. Don’t worry if you don’t see your name right away
• Read and comment on other peoples work to let them know it’s being read
• Share via your favourite social media platforms
• Above all- have fun!

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