Happy autumn everyone (in the northern hemisphere anyway)! Autumn officially begins in my place on the map at 10:49 AM today (September 22nd). Just as that happens, I’ll be conducting a workshop and critique sessions at a Women Who Write poetry conference in Madison, NJ, and tonight I’ll be celebrating the autumnal equinox (a time of equality between day and night) with friends, dinner, and a bottle of mead. My mom always called autumn “the brief, bright season.” As a child, it was always my favorite time of year (quite probably because autumn’s arrival heralded my birthday, Thanksgiving, and Christmas).
There’s something special about autumn's mixture of warm sun, cooler air, and colorful leaves. This week, let’s celebrate the season and write poems about autumn. You might try an ode or a sonnet, or you might write about an autumn experience that you had (memoir poem). You might describe the season (being careful to make your description unique and memorable – avoid those seasonal poem clichés that can ruin otherwise good poems). You might work with autumn as a metaphor (again, be wary of clichés and definitely stay away from autumn as a metaphor for a particular time of life). Another idea is to use the prompt title as the title of your poem (“What Autumn Brings”). An option you might like is to take on the character of an autumn aspect and write a persona poem (write from the perspective of a tree, a leaf, a bonfire, a chestnut, a migrating bird, etc.). Have fun with this – enjoy the imagery of this colorful season!
"I am the autumnal sun" by Henry David Thoreau
"Hornworm: Autumn Lamentation" by Stanley Kunitz
"Autumn Daybreak" by Edna St. Vincent Millay
"A Song of an Autumn Night by Wang Wei