This year, as the beauties of the autumn season reveals itself, I find myself regarding the fall as the beginning of the year. A time when the natural glories of the spring and summer have ended, a new year has begun. This season, it seems that autumn poems—with their capacity to express our emotional landscapes—help me find the autumnal perspectives I was looking for.
These are autumn poems of remembrance, beauty, and an awareness of the cycles of life—the need to have our own conversations and reckoning with mortality.
The Best Autumn Poems
Read these autumn poems with a cozy mug of tea for your best reading experience.
1. Song for Autumn by Mary Oliver
Don’t you imagine the leaves dream now
how comfortable it will be to touch
the earth instead of the
nothingness of the air and the endless
freshets of wind? And don’t you think
the trees, especially those with
mossy hollows, are beginning to look for
2. Fall, leaves, fall by Emily Brontë
Fall, leaves, fall; die, flowers, away;
Lengthen day and shorten day;
Every leaf speaks bliss to me
Fluttering from the autumn tree.
3. Samhain by Annie Finch
(The Celtic Halloween)
In the season leaves should love,
since it gives them leave to move
through the wind, towards the ground
they were watching while they hung,
…Now when dying grasses veil
earth from the sky in one last pale
wave, as autumn dies to bring
winter back, and then the spring,
we who die ourselves can peel
back another kind of veil
4. Perhaps the World Ends Here by Joy Harjo
The world begins at a kitchen table. No Matter what, we must eat to live.
The gifts of earth are brought and prepared, set on the table. So it has been since creation, and it will go on.
…It is here that children are given instructions on what it means to be human. We make men at it, we make women.
5. Under the Harvest Moon by Carl Sandburg
Under the harvest moon,
When the soft silver
Over the garden nights,
Death, the gray mocker,
Comes and whispers to you
As a beautiful friend
6. A Sunset of the City by Gwendolyn Brooks
Already I am no longer looked at with lechery or love.
My daughters and sons have put me away with marbles and dolls,
Are gone from the house.
My husband and lovers are pleasant or somewhat polite
And night is night.
It is a real chill out,
The genuine thing.
I am not deceived, I do not think it is still summer
Because sun stays and birds continue to sing.