Today is National Poetry Day in England. We are informed that Britain is a poetry nation. Among other events, readers of the Guardian are asked to select their favorite poem.
I pondered this for a bit and then I recalled a beautiful poem my wife had calligraphed in orange ink and framed with an equally appropriate orange border that has been hanging on our wall for years.
I had always thought it was a poem from Thomas Wolfe’s Look Homeward Angel as indicated at the bottom of the print. It certainly reads like one. But the citation is incorrect, as I have learned today. And it isn’t a poem. Instead, it is a combination of closely related passages from his Of Time and a River.
Nevertheless, I will post it here as it appears on the print. It does capture this time of the year, doesn’t it? And I will always regard as one of my favorite, yes poems.
October has come again—has come
again. The ripe, the golden month
has come again and in Virginia the
chinkapins are falling. Frost sharps
the middle music of the seasons and all things
living on earth turn home again. The bee bores
to the belly of the yellowed grape, the fly gets old
and fat and blue, he buzzes loud crawls slow,
creeps heavily to death, the sun goes down in blood
and pollen across the bronzed and mown fields of
old October. Come to us, Father, while the winds
howl in the darkness, for October has come again,
bring with it huge prophecies of death and life
and the great cargo of the men who will return.