As we begin this autumn season, I think about clear, crisp air, the scent of woodsmoke, leaves changing color, the sound of migrating geese, and the taste of apple cider. There is something magical in autumn that fills the senses. When I was a child autumn fascinated me with its sweet sadness. My mom taught me how to read and write when I was four, and one of my earliest poems (my mom saved them all, bless her) was titled “Autumn” (see below and check out the spelling of “chrysanthemum”).
From The Kite & Other Poems from Childhood
Okay, by now you will have guessed that this prompt deals with autumn imagery, themes, and moods. Before you look at the prompt suggestions and begin writing, be sure to read a few autumn poems. There are, of course, many dozens by some of the greatest poets. Following are a few of my favorites, and you will find more at Famous Autumn Poems.
Now, the writing …
1. How does autumn touch your senses? Write a poem that captures autumn's essence in sights, sounds, scents, touches, and tastes (think in terms of colorful leaves, bonfires, cornhusks, pumpkins, acorns, blue skies, crisp air, and crunchy ripe apples).
2. Have you ever thought about autumn as a symbol for human life? What other autumn symbolisms have you considered? Write a poem in which autumn is a metaphor for a particular time in human life.
3. Has something memorable happened to you in autumn? Write a poem about your best or worst autumn memory.
4. What does autumn mean to you? Write a poem titled “Autumn Is” in which you combine descriptive autumn elements with personal meanings.
5. What mood does autumn typically evoke? What “atmosphere” does it suggest to you? Write a poem in which you create an autumn mood.
6. Does anything in one of the following quotations resonate for you? If so, write a poem based on the quote (you may want to use the quote as an epigraph).
"Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower." (Albert Camus)
I saw old autumn in the misty morn / Stand shadowless like silence, listening / To silence. (Thomas Hood)
There is a harmony / In autumn, and a lustre in its sky, / Which through the summer is not heard or seen, / As if it could not be, as if it had not been! (Percy Bysshe Shelley)
7. Do you know anyone whose personality reminds you of autumn? Try writing a poem in which autumn characteristics represent personality traits.
Happy Autumn – I wish you a rich harvest of poetry and peace!