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September 1918 by Amy Lowell

Amy Lowell has always been one of my favorite poets.  Her imagery is unsurpassed in my mind, and I remember reading her collected works in high school, and being so touched by each of them.  This poem, ostensibly about a fall day, is truly beautiful, but there is an underlying theme dealing with the fact that the world was at war.  World War I, specifically.  In addition to the line referencing the war,  you can pick up on the melancholy of the second part of the poem.  And if you want to go over every word, there are other references that can be applied, too.  For myself, I’m happy to read it in a less analytical way, though it’s impossible to miss the sense of bittersweet sadness at the end.  Hope some of you enjoy it.

September, 1918

By Amy Lowell

This afternoon was the colour of water falling through sunlight;
The trees glittered with the tumbling of leaves;
The sidewalks shone like alleys of dropped maple leaves,
And the houses ran along them laughing out of square, open windows.
Under a tree in the park,
Two little boys, lying flat on their faces,
Were carefully gathering red berries
To put in a pasteboard box.
Some day there will be no war,
Then I shall take out this afternoon
And turn it in my fingers,
And remark the sweet taste of it upon my palate,
And note the crisp variety of its flights of leaves.
To-day I can only gather it
And put it into my lunch-box,
For I have time for nothing
But the endeavour to balance myself
Upon a broken world.

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2 thoughts on “September 1918 by Amy Lowell

  1. What a lovely poem for a fall day–yes, tinged with sadness–frosted perhaps.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for commenting, Alice. I’m glad you like the poem. I have several others of hers I will be posting over time, too. She’s always been a favorite of mine.

    Liked by 1 person

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