Poetry Friday: Autumn, Grace Paley

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Poetry Friday is hosted by Jama Rattigan @ Jama’s Alphabet Soup

Fall is here in the North East, and the leaves are just beginning to turn.  Every day, there are new colors to pause for, and take delight in.  Fall is here in the North East, and we are glad for it.

adirondacks-foliage

Autumn

by Grace Paley

1
What is sometimes called a
   tongue of flame
or an arm extended burning
   is only the long
red and orange branch of
   a green maple
in early September   reaching
   into the greenest field
out of the green woods   at the
   edge of which the birch trees
appear a little tattered   tired
   of sustaining delicacy
all through the hot summer   re-
   minding everyone (in
our family) of a Russian
   song   a story
by Chekhov   or my father
2
What is sometimes called a
   tongue of flame
or an arm extended   burning
   is only the long
red and orange branch of
   a green maple
in early September   reaching
   into the greenest field
out of the green woods   at the
   edge of which the birch trees
appear a little tattered   tired
   of sustaining delicacy
all through the hot summer   re-
   minding everyone (in
our family) of a Russian
   song   a story by
Chekhov or my father on
   his own lawn   standing
beside his own wood in
   the United States of
America   saying (in Russian)
   this birch is a lovely
tree   but among the others
   somehow superficial

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11 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: Autumn, Grace Paley

  1. I’ll have to revisit this poem again. I’m not sure I know what to make of it! (I do know that I would love to hear that Russian song!)

  2. Having just been to your northeast, I enjoyed the poem even more, Tara. Being there made me miss my Missouri growing up. Colorado has its golden aspen, but there isn’t anything like maple’s red and orange. Interesting poem, changing focus!

  3. A gorgeous photo and this phrase
    “What is sometimes called a
    tongue of flame
    or an arm extended burning
    is only the long
    red and orange branch of
    a green maple”
    Evocative.

  4. Such vivid imagery here – and the colours peek through the lines in subtle spurts. Thank you for sharing this dear Tara. It’s October Country once again – very Bradbury.

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