Today is the first day of Fall where I live. My windows are open, the mum on the porch is struggling to bloom after a scorching summer, I plan to make my first stock of the season for soup making, I’m knee-deep in homework.
The name — of it — is “Autumn” —
The hue — of it — is Blood —
An Artery — upon the Hill —
A Vein — along the Road —
Great Globules — in the Alleys —
And Oh, the Shower of Stain —
When Winds — upset the Basin —
And spill the Scarlet Rain —
It sprinkles Bonnets — far below —
It gathers ruddy Pools —
Then — eddies like a Rose — away —
Upon Vermilion Wheels —
I love this poem. If you are familiar with East Coast fall, you can just see the brilliant leaves. But, what else is red, and in arteries, and veins, and globules? Why is Autumn in quotes? Dig a little deeper — when was it written? 1862. The American Civil War. In true Dickinson fashion, she “tells all the Truth but tells it slant –” What looks like another poem about a season could very well be a poem about war. Suddenly I see dead men and flowing blood across the landscape, and not fallen leaves. Remember, Autumn is a season of death.