November by Elizabeth Stoddard.
A poetry discussion by Kate O’Brien.
Over the past few days, I’ve been reading different poems that have all been inspired in some way by the month of November.
I’ve said before that I find autumn to be a very inspiring and evocative time of year.
It is a time of year that seems to inspire descriptions so naturally. Colours seem more vivid and there seems to be a heightened awareness about our surroundings as autumn and winter bring so many physical changes. The nights grow longer, leaves turn gold and red before they fall, leaving the trees completely bare. Writers approach autumn in many different ways.
Some describe it as a melancholy time, some focus on all of the changes that are happening in nature. Some writers reflect on the cycle of the seasons and comment on how we must lose the leaves in autumn so that everything can bloom again in spring. Some writers love autumn and they write about the beauty that can be found in crisp skies and golden leaves.
A poem that I came across recently is November by Elizabeth Stoddard.
It is a short poem, only four stanzas long, and the poem seems to capture everything that I’ve mentioned above. In the poem, Stoddard highlights her fondness for the season, she states that “autumn charms my melancholy mind.” (Stoddard, November, Line 4.)
The second stanza references the changes in scenery, the cycle that nature must follow.
“The year must perish; all the flowers are dead.” (Stoddard, Line 6.)
The third stanza discusses the excitement in the air that autumn brings because autumn leads us into the festive season, which is why many people like it. She writes “Still, autumn ushers in the Christmas cheer, The holly-berries and the ivy-tree.” (Stoddard, Lines 9-10.)
The final stanza is what stood out to me. It caught my attention because I found it to be very poignant. Stoddard talks about the stillness of autumn, the quietness of it. It can be a reflective time after all, when one is staring out at grey skies.
Stoddard’s closing line says “The naked, silent trees have taught me this, —
The loss of beauty is not always loss!” (Stoddard, Lines 15-16.)
This line is what stayed with me. I find that there is something very lovely about it.
This is a very straightforward poem in my opinion. Stoddard uses everyday, easy language.
Nothing is overcomplicated or hard to follow. The poem is short, simple, and yet there is something very charming about it. I think Stoddard captures the emptiness that autumn can bring, but this emptiness does not have to be a bad thing.
I find that there is something beautiful about grey skies. I find looking out at bare trees and grey skies very peaceful. The emptiness is beautiful in its own way. I always look forward to a new year, there is something very exciting about it. I think I feel this way because I like looking at the new year as an opportunity for fresh starts and new chapters, but this feeling cannot exist without autumn. I like taking time to reflect, to appreciate all that I have and all that I have done.
The leaves falling almost symbolise the end of one chapter, we say goodbye to the old, to the year that has nearly gone by, before embracing the new.
The naked, silent trees are peaceful. They are beautiful, and soon they will have new leaves again. That is autumn. It is a time of change. It is no wonder that so many writers enjoy focusing on the season in their works.
If you have not read November by Elizabeth Stoddard, I would recommend it.
It is short and sweet, but rather poignant as the poem captures something that is hard to explain, although I feel that I have made a very good attempt at explaining it.
If you’re not really a poetry lover, but you’re trying to read poetry more often, this is a poem that I would recommend because it is so short. It is an easy read, and this kind of poem does not require readers to have an in-depth understanding of poetic, literary devices. It is simply a charming read.
I read this poem on www.allpoetry.com.
“November by Elizabeth Drew Barstow Stoddard.” By Elizabeth Drew Barstow Stoddard – Famous Poems, Famous Poets. – All Poetry, https://allpoetry.com/poem/8591479-November-by-Elizabeth-Drew-Barstow-Stoddard
Have you ever read this poem? Do you have any autumn inspired poems that you love?