Saturday, October 10, 2015

October / Jewell Bothwell Tull (4 poems)


The sob that comes after the weeping is over,
The smile after laughter,
Faith when youth’s gone and death beckons:
The sum of life, plus a dream.


I don't know whether October’s a man or a woman.
When I say She, He looks at me with such masculine eyes;
And when I say He,
She shakes her red head at me.
So I think maybe      
October’s a child — or a god.

Foolish Bird

Foolish bird,
  Do you think, because the rain’s over
  And the sun’s in your eyes,
  Summer’s here again?
  Don’t you know it’s October?—      
Foolish bird that sings in my heart.

Gray River

Gray river,
  Do you care that the wind’s kisses are cold now?
  That they are putting away the little summer boats?


Just when the year learns
  What life is all about,
Just when she learns it’s not youth
  Nor summer’s hot kisses
Nor even maternity,    
Just when she knows
  What it’s all for —
Winter and spring and summer,
The sum of it — October!

Next month you’ll be so gray and tired,    
And then so still and white.

Jewell Bothwell Tull (1889-1963)
from Poetry, October 1922

[Poems are in the public domain in Canada and the United States]

Jewell Bothwell Tull biography

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