Tuesday, 1 November 2016

'It will not always be like this...'

November already - All Saints' Day - and yesterday's mellow sunlight is followed by still air and lingering mist, a grey day. Each, in its way, perfectly autumnal.
Autumn has always felt to me like a time of promise and opening up - of life to new turns (perhaps a hangover from the turning of the academic year) and of the mind to quiet reflection, on what is opening up and what is being lost, on what is there and how it will inevitably be lost and gone.
R.S. Thomas said it all  in 10 short lines in his beautiful poem A Day in Autumn:

It will not always be like this, 
The air windless, a few last
Leaves adding their decoration
To the trees’ shoulders, braiding the cuffs
Of the boughs with gold; a bird preening

In the lawn’s mirror. Having looked up
From the day’s chores, pause a minute, 
Let the mind take its photograph
Of the bright scene, something to wear
Against the heart in the long cold.

(Note how every line runs over its ending, except the first and seventh: 'pause a minute.')

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