Sunday, November 11, 2018

I Am the Autumnal Sun writes Henry David Thoreau

photo © Mark Butkus 2009
"I am all sere and yellow"

Sometimes a mortal feels in himself Nature
— not his Father but his Mother stirs
within him, and he becomes immortal with her
immortality. From time to time she claims
kindredship with us, and some globule
from her veins steals up into our own.

I am the autumnal sun,
With autumn gales my race is run;
When will the hazel put forth its flowers,
Or the grape ripen under my bowers?
When will the harvest or the hunter's moon
Turn my midnight into mid-noon?
I am all sere and yellow,
And to my core mellow.
The mast is dropping within my woods,
The winter is lurking within my moods,
And the rustling of the withered leaf
Is the constant music of my grief...

— Henry David Thoreau

Written by Henry David Thoreau in 1849, during his Walden years, I Am the Autumnal Sun fills the reader with trepidation of the coming New England winter. The poem is often abbreviated to the rhyming couplets of the second stanza, ignoring the metaphors of the first stanza in its entirety.

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