As the leaves start to change and the air begins to chill, October is a month full of surprises and festivities.
This time of the year can inspire a range of emotions and feelings, making it a perfect time for poetry.
From the spooky to the heartwarming, October poems offer a unique glimpse into the magic of the season.
In this article, we’ll explore famous, funny, and inspirational poems about October, as well as short and long poems, rhyming and non-rhyming ones, and poems for both children and adults.
So let’s dive in and discover the beauty of October through the lens of poetry.
Famous October Poems
The changing colors of autumn have long inspired poets, and some of the most famous poems of all time were written about October. These October poems by famous poets celebrate the beauty of the season and the fleeting nature of life.
1. In October
by Bliss Carman
Now come the rosy dogwoods,
The golden tulip-tree,
And the scarlet yellow maple,
To make a day for me.
The ash-trees on the ridges,
The alders in the swamp,
Put on their red and purple
To join the autumn pomp.
The woodbine hangs her crimson
Along the pasture wall,
And all the bannered sumacs
Have heard the frosty call.
Who then so dead to valor
As not to raise a cheer,
When all the woods are marching
In triumph of the year?
2. Late October
by Sylvester Baxter
Out of my window I look down
Into the yard of my neighbor,
My friend, the parish priest across the way,
And this is the picture I see:
A glowing maple rising like a fountain
Out of the emerald lawn rimmed by a close-clipped hedge
Of darker green.
All gray the sky is, but the maple
Gleams like spray in sunlight.
Out of its blazing mass
The leaves are showering
Like the sparks that fly when a smouldering fire is stirred.
They lie in drifts upon the grassy verdure
Like lightly fallen snow of gold;
They powder the sombre green of the hedge
As gilded confetti might powder the head
Of some strangely dark-haired beauty.
3. October’s Party
by George Cooper
October gave a party;
The leaves by hundreds came—
The Chestnuts, Oaks, and Maples,
And leaves of every name.
The Sunshine spread a carpet,
And everything was grand,
Miss Weather led the dancing,
Professor Wind the band.
The Chestnuts came in yellow,
The Oaks in crimson dressed;
The lovely Misses Maple
In scarlet looked their best;
All balanced to their partners,
And gaily fluttered by;
The sight was like a rainbow
New fallen from the sky.
Then, in the rustic hollow,
At hide-and-seek they played,
The party closed at sundown,
And everybody stayed.
Professor Wind played louder;
They flew along the ground;
And then the party ended
In jolly “hands around.”
by William Cullen Bryant
Ay, thou art welcome, heaven’s delicious breath!
When woods begin to wear the crimson leaf,
And suns grow meek, and the meek suns grow brief
And the year smiles as it draws near its death.
Wind of the sunny south! oh, still delay
In the gay woods and in the golden air,
Like to a good old age released from care,
Journeying, in long serenity, away.
In such a bright, late quiet, would that I
Might wear out life like thee, ‘mid bowers and brooks
And dearer yet, the sunshine of kind looks,
And music of kind voices ever nigh;
And when my last sand twinkled in the glass,
Pass silently from men, as thou dost pass.
5. October Weather
by Mabel Douglas Essay
There’s a certain eerie sadness
Tempered with exultant gladness
In October weather.
Vanished is June’s fertile sweetness,
July’s mellow rare completeness;
August fleeing with September
Leaves a beauty earth remembers
In October weather.
The long rows of china aster
Stiffly face a sure disaster,
The vine grasped by the frost’s keen fingers
Shrivels where it deserted lingers;
Summer suns are mirrored brightly
From the trees the frosts touch lightly
In October weather.
There’s the courage of the mountains
And the daring of the rivers,
There’s the wisdom of the meadows
Autumn holds and guards forever,
And they give a ripened gladness
Tinctured with a shadowy sadness
To October weather.
by Ada A. Mosher
Dead, the last scion of the Rose’s race,
The generation of the Summer, dead!
And where its watch-fires blazed behold instead
The Invader’s glorious camps usurp the place.
Strange, daring colors with wild foreign grace,
Tawn India’s yellow and Arabia’s red
Blend into brown of Afric overhead
And swathe their towering tents from brow to base.
We look to sudden meet them face to face,
These stranger-warriors who possess the land.
We hear the Wind-hounds baying to the chase,
And streaming from the hills on every hand
In wild barbaric beauty do we trace
Their multi-colored signals of command.
7. All the World a Glory
by Myrtella Southerland
Once again October in its beauty,
Scarlet leaves and gold along the lane
Where the maples lure us with their color.
All the world a glory once again.
Crimson ivy clinging to the fences,
Late birds singing by the riverside,
Golden-rod and asters yet in blossom,
Olden dreams with mellow eventide.
Bonfires gaily blazing in the twilight.
Kiddies laughing, dancing in their fun,
Cracking nuts they’ve gathered from the woodland—
What a world, when all is said and done!
Time to gather round the gratefire, smiling,
Time to put our doubts and fears to rest,
Just to live and love in gay October
And the glorious world it at its best!
Time to have a little hour of music,
Time to sing the old songs that we love,
Time to look up with a grateful spirit
For our blessings sweet, sent from above.
8. Baled Hay
by Robert Pack
Wheels of baled hay bask in October sun:
Gold circles strewn across the sloping field,
They seem arranged as if each one
Has found its place; together they appeal
To some glimpsed order in my mind
Preceding my chance pausing here —
A randomness that also seems designed.
Gold circles strewn across the sloping field
Evoke a silence deep as my deep fear
Of emptiness; I feel the scene requires
A listener who can respond with words, yet who
Prolongs the silence that I still desire,
Relieved as clacking crows come flashing through,
Whose blackness shows chance radiance of fire.
Yet stillness in the field remains for everyone:
Wheels of baled hay bask in October sun.
9. October Trees
by Siegfried Sassoon
How innocent were these Trees, that in
Mist-green May, blown by a prospering breeze,
Stood garlanded and gay;
Who now in sundown glow
Of serious color clad confront me with their show
As though resigned and sad,
Trees, who unwhispering stand umber, bronze, gold;
Pavilioning the land for one grown tired and old;
Elm, chestnut, aspen and pine, I am merged in you,
Who tell once more in tones of time,
Your foliaged farewell.
by Lillian E Curtis
Joyous, sunny days, so bright and clear,
But, oh, how short a time they last!
For ere we dream their close is near,
Summer has joined the past:
While we rush on, nor dream that summer’s done,
We’re greeted. by the rays of autumnal sun.
Swiftly the days have glided by,
That have passed beyond recalling,
Withered and blighted the flowerets lie,
The autumn leaves are falling;
And over many a gorgeous Nature-painted scene,
October’s gold and amber stream.
Funny October Poems
Who says October has to be all about spooky stuff? There are plenty of interesting poems about October about this time of year that celebrate the humor and absurdity of life.
1. October Glows
by Elaine Goodale
October glows on every cheek,
October shines in every eye;
While up the hill and down the dale
Her crimson banners fly.
1. The Ides of March Versus October
by John Lofquist
The Ides of March
are no different than of October
just seven months older
and perhaps, a little bit colder.
And had Caesar only stayed away
from the Curia of Pompey
he might have lived, perhaps, a little bit longer.
by Paula Goldsmith
Little squirrels scampering to hide their nuts,
can I have some for my October pie.
Not on my pie you fly,
go away not on my cold cuts.
3. October Considered
by Pamela Davison
Step gently, my sweet,
Into the hallowed night,
And be not afraid
Of the mystery awaiting you.
See me as your escort,
Here to overshadow
Great and small.
To the gates
We must journey.
Your presence delayed
Of where your eyes land,
For this is no time
To be foolish.
The gift of courage
As you enter this domain,
And would have you
For their own.
Go meekly into the night,
But wield your sword
Of righteousness well.
I’ll stand beside you,
Watching all along,
Counting every piece of candy
You’d dare consume.
4. September and October
by Eileen Clark
The September days can get very hot
Turn on the air conditioner, then it’s not
By late afternoon you are cold again
Turn off the air and let evening set it
The very next day you wake up to a chill
Is that really frost on your windowsill
Get out the sweaters and turn up the heat
The days to come this activity we’ll repeat
We are just now entering the first of November
Much talk of a heat wave, so try to remember
Weather change happens so don’t lose your cool
Predicting the weather makes a smart man a fool
5. Clear October Morning
No clouds are in the morning sky,
The vapors hug the stream,
Who says that life and hope can die
In all this northern gleam?
At every turn the maples burn,
The quail is whistling free,
The patridge whirs, and the frosted burs
Are dropping for you and me.
In the clear October morning.
6. October the 8th
by Laura Breidenthal
The great hands of fate have squeezed their grip on this infallible date!
Make way, fermenting 7th, for the intolerable October the 8th!
Far, far away the lone lemur leaps with joy to celebrate-
The great, insoluble, improvable, October the blasted 8th!
D.W, dear, with quirks and beauty that torment and infuriate,
Can you not see my flippidy- floppity- flimsy- fedazzled state?
See how my nerves leave me prostrate on the coming of this most magical date!
October the phone a-flippin, Charles J. Dickens, Squawking chickens,
Sexy centaurs strippin, heart sta-ricken, danger dippin’ –
October the infernal 8th!
7. October – What Can Compare
by Sterling Brannen
October is a pleasant time;
The foliage is so sublime,
And there’s a briskness in the air
What with October can compare?
Though fainter are the solar glints,
Thought fainter, too, the floral tints,
Though month-end finds the trees quite bare,
What with October can compare?
In town and country, forest, field,
Is garnered kindly Nature’s yield.
The harvest urges thankful prayer.
What with October can compare?
Inspirational October Poems
The crisp air and changing leaves can also inspire feelings of introspection and reflection. Inspirational poems about October might explore themes like change, growth, and renewal.
by Emma B. L. S. Dunham
The freshness of Spring has departed,
The languor of Summer has tied,
October holds safe in her keeping
The wealth of the days that have sped.
In the place of the mist of midsummer,
Which held back the sun’s ardent ray,
Great ridges of clouds massed in ether
Illume and make perfect the day.
The leaves of the forest, like heroes
Who feel their last hours drawing nigh,
Have summoned the wealth of their being,
To grandly and gallantly die.
The cricket shrills forth his loud chirping,
The wind has a tremulous sound;
A flock of dead leaves from the tree-top
Comes fluttering down to the ground.
The fields and the meadow have yielded
Their harvest of hay and of grain;
The orchards are fragrant with fruitage,
Good store is on hill-side and plain.
O Spring-time! so full of thy promise,
O Summer! so heavy with gain;
Ye’ve stored in the garner of Autumn
The wealth of the sun and the rain.
Haste, Heart, that hast felt Spring’s assurance,
Make growth in the summer of life,
That when the perfected days find thee
Thou mayst with good fruitage be rife.
2. October Dawn
by Ted Hughes
October is marigold, and yet
A glass half full of wine left out
To the dark heaven all night, by dawn
Has dreamed a premonition
Of ice across its eye as if
The ice-age had begun its heave.
The lawn overtrodden and strewn
From the night before, and the whistling green
Shrubbery are doomed. Ice
Has got its spearhead into place.
First a skin, delicately here
Restraining a ripple from the air;
Soon plate and rivet on pond and brook;
Then tons of chain and massive lock
To hold rivers. Then, sound by sight
Will Mammoth and Sabre-tooth celebrate
Reunion while a fist of cold
Squeezes the fire at the core of the world,
Squeezes the fire at the core of the heart,
And now it is about to start.
by Tamura Ryuichi
Crisis is part of me.
Beneath my glass skin
Is a typhoon of savage passion. On October’s
Desolate shore a fresh carcass is cast up;
October is my empire.
My gentle hands control what is lost.
My tiny eyes survey what is melting.
My tender ears listen to the silence of the dying.
Terror is part of me.
In my rich bloodstream
Courses all-killing time. In October’s
Chilling sky a fresh famine erupts.
October is my empire.
My dead troops hold every rain-sodden city.
My dead warning-plane circles the sky above aimless minds.
My dead sign their names for the dying.
4. October Days
by LeRoy Huron Kelsey
In her beautiful scarlet colors
Nature paints with lavish hand
All the flaming sumac bushes far and near;
And a teeming gorgeous beauty
Is beheld throughout the land
On a frosty morn in autumn-time of year.
When the harvests all are gathered,
And the roads are smooth and dry,
With a tang of cool and bracing atmosphere,
As the geese are flying southward,
Through the blue and cloudless sky,
There’s a tranquil charm to autumn-time of year.
by Edgar A Guest
Days are gettin’ shorter an’ the air a keener snap;
Apples now are droppin’ into Mother Nature’s lap;
The mist at dusk is risin’ over valley, marsh an’ fen
An’ it’s just as plain as sunshine, winter’s comin’ on again.
The turkeys now are struttin’ round the old farmhouse once more;
They are done with all their nestin’, and their hatchin’ days are o’er;
Now the farmer’s cuttin’ fodder for the silo towerin’ high
An’ he’s frettin’ an’ complainin’ ’cause the corn’s a bit too dry.
But the air is mighty peaceful an’ the scene is good to see,
An’ there’s somethin’ in October that stirs deep inside o’ me;
An’ I just can’t help believin’ in a God above us, when
Everything is ripe for harvest and the frost is back again.
by Edward Thomas
The green elm with the one great bough of gold
Lets leaves into the grass slip, one by one, —
The short hill grass, the mushrooms small milk-white,
Harebell and scabious and tormentil,
That blackberry and gorse, in dew and sun,
Bow down to; and the wind travels too light
To shake the fallen birch leaves from the fern;
The gossamers wander at their own will.
At heavier steps than birds’ the squirrels scold.
The rich scene has grown fresh again and new
As Spring and to the touch is not more cool
Than it is warm to the gaze; and now I might
As happy be as earth is beautiful,
Were I some other or with earth could turn
In alternation of violet and rose,
Harebell and snowdrop, at their season due,
And gorse that has no time not to be gay.
But if this be not happiness, — who knows?
Someday I shall think this a happy day,
And this mood by the name of melancholy
Shall no more blackened and obscured be.
7. The Tenth Month
by Catherine Pulsifer
October, the tenth month of the year
Some hate it, others think it’s dear
The heat of the summer is done
In the sky sets high the sun.
But we know what is coming next
October’s coolness puts it in context
Winter will soon be upon us
But enjoy the fall without fuss.
The colors of October bring
Beauty to the trees and things
The sunsets against the trees at night
Shine the most beautiful light
October is the month of harvest
We pray and hope for the largest
We give thanks to God above
A time of year to feel His love.
by Eloise A. Skimings
The flowers are drooping one by one,
The wheat is garner’d, the work is done,
The vines are wither’d, their race is run,
The waves are angry on Huron’s breast,
The song birds have flown to homes of vest,
The trees in crimson and gold are drest.
The summer light is waning fast,
Tlie sultry winds become a blast,
The autumn frost a blight has cast,
Let us then work for a home above,
A haven of everlasting love,
Where truth will find the treasure trove,
Short October Poems
Short poetries about October might be haikus, tankas, or other minimalist forms of poetry. These poems can capture a moment, a feeling, or a mood in just a few words.
by John B. Tabb
Behold, the fleeting swallow
Forsakes the frosty air;
And leaves, alert to follow,
Are falling everywhere,
Like wounded birds, too weak
A distant clime to seek.
And soon, with silent pinions,
The fledglings of the North
From winter’s wild dominions
Shall drift, aftrighted, forth,
And, phantom-like, anon
Pursue the phantoms gone.
2. Maple Leaves
by Thomas Bailey Aldrich
October turned my maple’s leaves to gold;
The most are gone now; here and there one lingers:
Soon these will slip from out the twigs’ weak hold,
Like coins between a dying miser’s fingers.
3. October Night
by Ada A. Mosher
In breathless awe of this strange midnight-noon
The mute woods stand and stare bewildered o’er:
Heaped at their feet lie glittering Louis d’or;
Piled high the golden scudo and doubloon,
The hoarded earnings of their youth of June,
Are these surprised of bandit-meteor?
How pale the face yon spectral Sycamore
Lifts, tremulously, to the midnight moon!
by Paul Hamilton Hayne
The passionate summer’s dead! the sky’s aglow
With roseate flushes of matured desire,
The winds at eve are musical and low,
As sweeping chords of a lamenting lyre,
Far up among the pillared clouds of fire,
Whose pomp of st range procession upward rolls,
With gorgeous blazonry of pictured scrolls,
To celebrate the summer’s past renown;
Ah, me! how regally the heavens look down,
O’ershadowing beautiful autumnal woods
And harvest fields with hoarded increase brown,
And deep-toned majesty of golden floods,
That raise their solemn dirges to the sky,
To swell the purple pomp that floateth by.
5. October on a Maine River
by Kenneth Slade Alling
The blood of maples on the autumn sky,
And dead leaves drifting, drifting to the sea:
Now, to the year Time makes his old reply,
Nothing on earth shall live immortally.
The burst of glory on a dying face,
Of one who sees beyond, some haven far,
Lit with the spring-light of another place
And silver winds blown from another star.
Now beauty burns in gold on every hill
And changes not her warm imperial way:
There is no sadness here, whate’er men say—
Beauty departing is yet beauty still.
by Annette Wynne
Black and gold and red and brown,
Olive, pink, and blue,
What a riot of a gown—
What a medley hue!
What a way to go about—
Crimson cloak and vest!
October is a dancer
Dancing down the West.
7. Sunshine of October
by William Cullen Bryant
The sweet calm sunshine of October, now
Warms the low spot; upon its grassy mold
The pur0ple oak-leaf falls; the birchen bough
drops its bright spoil like arrow-heads of gold.
8. October’s Bright Blue Weather
by Helen Hunt Jackson
When comrades seek sweet country haunts,
By twos and twos together,
And count like misers, hour by hour,
October’s bright blue weather.
Long October Poems
Long poetries about October might be multi-part epics or free-flowing meditations on the season. These poems can be immersive, inviting the reader to fully engage with the world of the poem.
by John Jay Chapman
Clear as the dew it kindles on the spray
Across the shadows of each shelving lawn,
The rising sun, with low and level ray
Scatters the cold, gray phantoms of the dawn.
Like ghosts they flee, like dreams expire
Within the elemental fire
Of our first calm October day.
A day all zenith; the enclosing air,
Like to the lens of a vast telescope,
Shows the enameled globe, which now doth wear
Its gayest motley; every jutting slope
And quiet spire appears both far and near,
Seen through the splendor of the atmosphere.
Something Elysian,—a faint tang of joy,—
Breathes from the moisture of the open field,
Recalling Spring, yet Spring with no alloy
Of heartache, such as hovers on the view
Of things in promise. Here is harvest-yield;
Old Earth hath done her best and can no further do.
The yellowing pages of Earth’s ledger lie,
In new-cropped acres, open to the sky;
A text that all may understand,
With margins where wild vines expand
In crimson revelry.
Beyond the valley lies a ledge
Of rocky pasture and a tier
Of hemlock and of juniper;
And close to the embattled edge,—
Their roots embedded in the stony stairs,—
The agèd cedars flaunt their burning wares.
Like banners in a gallery,
They hang above the bright ravine,
Where from the mountains to the sea
The farms and villages are seen,
All clad in twinkling sheen.
Above our heads the mountain bleak
Bears his cold summit to the view,
As one in scorn of earthly mists,
Who, in his gesture, seems to seek
The silent depths of the transparent blue
Where nought save light exists.
Nor sight nor mutter from the world below,
Nor sound of joy or woe;
For that clear realm is deaf to man’s debates.
There nought save Contemplation ever came;
For reason is extinguished by the glow,
And passion dies within its parent flame.
Rays of religion, shafts of power,
From that eternal upper day
Descend on man, the creature of an hour,
And whirl him as a leaf is whirled away.
Born to phantasmal contest, he survives
A moment merely; yet the fray,
The whirlwind, seizes other lives,
And, raging like a mountain fire,
Burns on with inextinguishable ire.
Here, here, from this ærial zone
Flows all the force the world has known,
All insight and all sight,
The substance of all just resolves,
Solid and pure;
The rest is lightning, here is light:
And when the varied earth dissolves,
This shall endure.
But see! above the sinking sun
The angel of the west
Has set his star against the mountain’s breast:
October’s day is done.
The shadows mount, the twilight clear
Shows all of Autumn’s mellow husk,
Where one belated teamster in the dusk
Circles the plain, like a dark charioteer
Who scatters secretly the gleaming seeds,
And drives his mystic steeds
Before the tread of the pursuing year.
2. In October
by John Burroughs
Now comes the sunset of the verdant year,
Chemic fires, still and slow,
Burn in the leaves, till trees and groves appear
Dipped in the sunset’s glow.
Through many-stained windows of the wood
The day sends down its beams,
Till all the acorn-punctured solitude
Of sunshine softly dreams.
I take my way where sentry cedars stand
Along the bushy lane,
And whitethroats stir and call on every hand,
Or lift their wavering strain;
The hazel-bush holds up its crinkled gold
And scents the loit’ring breeze —
A nuptial wreath amid its leafage old
That laughs at frost’s decrees.
A purple bloom is creeping o’er the ash —
Dull wine against the day,
While dusky cedars wear a crimson sash
Of woodbine’s kindled spray.
I see the stolid oak tree’s smould’ring fire
Sullen against emerald rye;
And yonder sugar maple’s wild desire
To match the sunset sky.
On hedge and tree the bittersweet has hung
Its fruit that looks a flower;
While alder spray with coral berries strung
Is part of autumn’s dower.
The plaintive calls of bluebirds fill the air,
Wand’ring voices in the morn;
The ruby kinglet, flitting here and there,
Winds again his elfin horn.
Now Downy shyly drills his winter cell,
His white chips strew the ground;
While squirrels bark from hill or acorned dell—
A true autumnal sound.
I hear the feathered thunder of the grouse
Soft rolling through the wood,
Or pause to note where hurrying mole or mouse
Just stirs the solitude.
Anon the furtive flock-call of the quail
Comes up from weedy fields;
Afar the mellow thud of lonely flail
Its homely music yields.
Behold the orchards piled with painted spheres
New plucked from bending trees;
And bronzèd huskers tossing golden ears
In genial sun and breeze.
Once more the tranquil days brood o’er the hills,
And soothe earth’s toiling breast;
A benediction all the landscape fills
That breathes of peace and rest
by Madison Cawein
Long hosts of sunlight, and the bright wind blows
A tourney-trumpet on the listed hill;
Past is the splendour of the royal rose
And duchess daffodil.
Crowned queen of beauty, in the garden’s space,
Strong daughter of a bitter race and bold,
A ragged beggar with a lovely face,
Reigns the sad marigold.
And I have sought June’s butterfly for days,
To find it—like a coreopsis bloom—
Amber and seal, rain-murdered ‘neath the blaze
Of this sunflower’s plume.
Here drones the bee; and there sky-daring wings
Voyage blue gulfs of heaven; the last song
The red-bird flings me as adieu, still rings
Upon yon pear-tree’s prong.
No angry sunset brims with rubier red
The bowl of heaven than the days, indeed,
Pour in each blossom of this salvia-bed,
Where each leaf seems to bleed.
And where the wood-gnats dance, like some slight mist,
Above the efforts of the weedy stream,
The girl, October, tired of the tryst,
Dreams a diviner dream.
One foot just dipping the caressing wave,
One knee at languid angle; locks that drown
Hands nut-stained; hazel-eyed, she lies, and grave,
Watching the leaves drift down.
4. A Song for October
by T.A. Daly
Fruitful October! so fair and calm
Singing of God and his charity,
Every note of thy joyous psalm
Chords of my heart give back to thee.
Joy for the riches thy bounty yields
Over the breadth of our smiling fields!
Out of the months that have gone before,
Gathering tribute from this thy store,
E’en from the torpid December moon,
From the vernal rains and the heats of June,
All that was good thou hast drawn and brought.
Nothing a loss;
E’en from the dross,
Alchemist marvellous, thou hast wrought
Misted gold for thy noon’s delights,
Silver of frost for thy twinkling nights.
Blest be thy blessing, all thy beauty now
Glows as a diadem on thy brow,
So, let me sing to thee,
So, let me bring to thee
Praise of the queen of my soul, for she,
Bountiful bringer of joys to me,
Wearing thy glory, is kin to thee.
How hath she wrought with the passing years?
All of their pleasures and pains and tears,
All their rose hopes and their pallid fears,
Through her sweet being have issued forth
Fused into treasure of priceless worth.
Look on the fruits of her alchemy,
Lisping their music around her knee.
Muse on the splendor of her sweet face,
Motherly wisdom and maiden grace.
Gold of your noon time is in her hair;
Aye, and your silver of frost is there.
Tell her, October, O, who so fair?
Not even thou
Weareth a brow
Fuller of beauty or freer of care.
O for the guerdon of quiet bliss,
For the yet warm heart and the cool sweet kiss
Of her perfect loving; for this, for this,
Fruitful October, so fair and calm,
Singing of God and His charity,
Every note of thy joyous psalm
Chords of my heart give back to thee!
by John Charles McNeill
The thought of old, dear things is in thine eyes,
O, month of memories!
Musing on days thine heart hath sorrow of,
Old joy, dead hope, dear love,
I see thee stand where all thy sisters meet
To cast down at thy feet
The garnered largess of the fruitful year,
And on thy cheek a tear.
Thy glory flames in every blade and leaf
To blind the eyes of grief;
Thy vineyards and thine orchards bend with fruit
That sorrow may be mute;
A hectic splendor lights thy days to sleep,
Ere the gray dusk may creep
Sober and sad along thy dusty ways,
Like a lone nun, who prays;
High and faint-heard thy passing migrant calls;
Thy lazy lizard sprawls
On his gray stone, and many slow winds creep
About thy hedge, asleep;
The sun swings farther toward his love, the south,
To kiss her glowing mouth;
And Death, who steals among thy purpling bowers,
Is deeply hid in flowers.
Would that thy streams were Lethe, and might flow
Where lotus blossoms blow,
And all the sweets wherewith thy riches bless
Might hold no bitterness!
Would, in thy beauty, we might all forget
Dead days and old regret,
And through thy realm might fare us forth to roam,
Having no thought for home!
And yet I feel, beneath thy queen’s attire,
Woven of blood and fire,
Beneath the golden glory of thy charm
Thy mother heart beats warm,
And if, mayhap, a wandering child of thee,
Weary of land and sea,
Should turn him homeward from his dreamer’s quest
To sob upon thy breast,
Thine arm would fold him tenderly, to prove
How thine eyes brimmed with love,
And thy dear hand, with all a mother’s care,
Would rest upon his hair.
by Madison Cawein
I oft have met her slowly wandering
Beside a leafy stream, her locks blown wild,
Her cheeks a hectic flush, more fair than Spring,
As if on her the sumach copse had smiled.
Or I have seen her sitting, tall and brown,—
Her gentle eyes with foolish weeping dim,—
Beneath a twisted oak from whose red leaves
She wound great drowsy wreaths and east them down;
The west-wind in her hair, that made it swim
Far out behind, deep as the rustling sheaves.
Or in the hill-lands I have often seen
The marvel of her passage; glimpses faint
Of glimmering woods that glanced the hills between,
Like Indian faces, fierce with forest paint.
Or I have met her ‘twixt two beechen hills,
Within a dingled valley near a fall,
Held in her nut-brown hand one cardinal flower;
Or wading dimly where the leaf-dammed rills
Went babbling through the wildwood’s arrased hall,
Where burned the beech and maples glared their power.
Or I have met her by some ruined mill,
Where trailed the crimson creeper, serpentine,
On fallen leaves that stirred and rustled chill,
And watched her swinging in the wild-grape vine.
While Beauty, sad among the vales and mountains,
More sad than death, or all that death can teach,
Dreamed of decay and stretched appealing arms,
Where splashed the murmur of the forest’s fountains;
With all her loveliness did she beseech,
And all the sorrow of her wildwood charms.
Once only in a hollow, girt with trees,
A-dream amid wild asters filled with rain,
I glimpsed her cheeks red-berried by the breeze,
In her dark eyes the night’s sidereal stain.
And once upon an orchard’s tangled path,
Where all the golden-rod had turned to brown,
Where russets rolled and leaves were sweet of breath,
I have beheld her ‘mid her aftermath
Of blossoms standing, in her gypsy gown,
Within her gaze the deeps of life and death.
by Isaac McLellan
It is October, and the glory of the year
Is in the skies and on the woods extended far and near;
It glows in burnish’d clouds, it flushes all the air;
It lies in hollow vales, in uplands brown and bare.
The tufted groves have lost their bright midsummer green,
And now a softer russet-flush creeps o’er the woodland scene;
O’er distant purple hills there floats a gauzy veil,
A silver vapor hovers o’er the river in the vale.
The orchard trees all glisten with globes of yellow gold,
That bend the bough and strew the earth with opulence untold;
The ripen’d corn-fields shake their pennons thin and white,
And to a feast, the chestnuts, the village school invite.
The gossamer spider-web is strung from tree to tree,
And up the air the thistle-down floats like a ship at sea;
The asters and the dahlias like flames in gardens glow,
And by the roadside wild flowers display a royal show.
Dim seen, the cautious angler glides on from brook to brook,
Now by the open meadow, now in some bushy nook.
And now across the mill-pond, with water-plants o’ergrown,
I see his floating boat, and where his lines are thrown.
And o’er the salty marsh the gun’s report I hear,
And see the snipe and curlews stop in their swift career;
While o’er the open bays I see the wild-ducks wheel,
The red-neck and the widgeon, the whistler and the teal.
O glorious days of autumn! with all your pomp of skies;
Tour harvests and your fruits, your flowers of matchless dyes
How dear to manly sportsman your ripe, imperial time;
Your sports by “stream and forest,” in Nature’s royal prime.
October Poems That Rhyme
Rhyming poetry has a musical quality that can be especially delightful to read out loud. Poems about October with rhyming words feature simple AABB rhyme schemes or more complex forms.
by Robert Frost
O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
Tomorrow’s wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.
The crows above the forest call;
Tomorrow they may form and go.
O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow.
Make the day seem to us less brief.
Hearts not averse to being beguiled,
Beguile us in the way you know.
Release one leaf at break of day;
At noon release another leaf;
One from our trees, one far away.
Retard the sun with gentle mist;
Enchant the land with amethyst.
For the grapes’ sake, if they were all,
Whose leaves already are burnt with frost,
Whose clustered fruit must else be lost—
For the grapes’ sake along the wall.
2. Mallee in October
by Flexmore Hudson
When clear October suns unfold
mallee tips of red and gold
children on their way to school
discover tadpoles in a pool,
iceplants sheathed in beaded glass
spider orchids and shivery grass,
webs with globes of dew alight
budgerigars on their first flight,
tottery lambs and a stilty foal
a papers slough that a snake shed whole,
and a bronzewing’s nest of twigs so few
that both the sky and the eggs show through.
by Hilaire Belloc
Look, how those steep woods on the mountain’s face
Burn, burn against the sunset; now the cold
Invades our very noon: the year’s grown old,
Mornings are dark, and evenings come apace.
The vines below have lost their purple grace,
And in Forreze the white wrack backward rolled,
Hangs to the hills tempestuous, fold on fold,
And moaning gusts make desolate all the place.
by Lottie Brown Allen
O, golden days! O, quiet, peaceful days!
October’s winsome voice we now can hear,
While all around, her magic wand she plays,
To consummate the crowning of the year.
Behold her ’mid a wealth of golden sheaves,
Most glorious month of all the year, she stands,
Upon her brow a wreath of crimson leaves,
While purple clusters fill her outstretched hands.
How could we know that when the flower-strewn spring
And all the happy summer days were past,
October would this golden mantle fling
To warm our hearts e’er comes the winter’s blast.
Then linger on, fair days of golden light,
And grant to leave in us an afterglow,
That shall shine on throughout the winter night,
That shall not pale before the winter snow.
by Van Morrison
Well, it’s a marvelous night for a Moondance
With the stars up above in your eyes
A fantabulous night to make romance
‘Neath the cover of October skies
And all the leaves on the trees are falling
To the sound of the breezes that blow
And I’m trying to please to the calling
Of your heart-strings that play soft and low
And all the night’s magic seems to whisper and hush
And all the soft moonlight seems to shine in your blush.
by Laurence Dunbar
October is the treasurer of the year,
And all the months pay bounty to her store;
The fields and orchards still their tribute bear,
And fill her brimming coffers more and more.
But she, with youthful lavishness,
Spends all her wealth in gaudy dress,
And decks herself in garments bold
Of scarlet, purple, red, and gold.
She heedeth not how swift the hours fly,
But smiles and sings her happy life along;
She only sees above a shining sky;
She only hears the breezes’ voice in song.
Her garments trail the woodlands through,
And gather pearls of early dew
That sparkle, till the roguish Sun
Creeps up and steals them every one.
But what cares she that jewels should be lost,
When all of Nature’s bounteous wealth is hers?
Though princely fortunes may have been their cost,
Not one regret her calm demeanor stirs.
Whole-hearted, happy, careless, free,
She lives her life out joyously,
Nor cares when Frost stalks o’er her way
And turns her auburn locks to gray.
by Henry A. Lavely
Into its lap the treasures of the year
Are gladly thrown. The royal golden-rod,
Fresh from the kind and gracious hand of God,
Puts on a brighter garb. And far and near
The wonders of the autumn hues appear.
The balmy air with ecstacy is rife;
All nature grows in plentitude of life,
And breathes deep with the bounties of good cheer.
The morning clouds are full of beauty, too,
And dash their richest crimson o’er the scene,
While in the range of sunset’s purple view
There glows the glory of its changing sheen—
The tints of earth and sky forever new;
The grandeur which forever rolls between!
by Siegfried Sassons
Across the land a faint blue veil of mist
Seems hung; the woods wear yet arrayment sober
Till frost shall make them flame; silent and whist
The drooping cherry orchards of October
Like mournful pennons hang their shriveling leaves
Russet and orange: all things now decay;
Long since ye garnered in your autumn sheaves,
And sad the robins pipe at set of day.
October Poems for Children
Kids love the magic and mischief of October, and there are plenty of poems that capture that spirit. October poems for kids might be silly, spooky, or sweet, but they all share a sense of wonder and imagination.
1. Late October
by Mike Garofalo
twisted tomato vines–
long autumn shadows.
Chimney smoke rises
from house after house–
hazy autumn foothills.
cozy sock cap–
In the dimming days–
open my dry eyes.
by Joseph Pullman Porter
Crispy air and azure skies,
High above, a white cloud flies,
Bright as newly fallen snow.
Oh the joy to those who know October!
Colors bright on bush and tree.
Over the weedy swamp, we see
A veil of purple and brown and gold.
Thy beauty words have never told. October!
Scolding sparrows on the lawn,
Rabbits frisking home at dawn,
Pheasants midst the sheaves of grain,
All in harmony acclaim, October!
Brown earth freshly turned by plow,
Apples shine on bended bough,
Bins o’erflowed with oats and wheat,
And satisfaction reigns complete. October!
Radiant joy is everywhere.
Spirits in tune to the spicy air,
Thrill in the glory of each day.
Life’s worth living when we say, October!
3. Before It’s Time to Go to Bed
by Annette Wynne
Before it’s time to go to bed,
Let’s have a feast,” October said,
“Let’s call our family all together,
And celebrate this pleasant weather”;
Then every leaf put on her best,
And each small shrub most richly dressed,
In red and gold and orange, too,
And many another party hue.
The party lasted day and night,
Until the leaves were tired quite,
“O Mother Dear,” at last each said,
“It’s time for us to go to bed;
Dear Mother Tree, good-night to you!”
Then loosed her hand and off it flew,
And every little sleepy head
Soon settled in the garden bed,
And dreamed the dreams that flowers do
And slept and slept the winter through.
4. It Must be October
by Pearl N. Sorrels
The harvest moon hangs round and high
It dodges clouds high in the sky,
The stars wink down their love and mirth
The Autumn season is giving birth.
Oh, it must be October
The leaves of red bright gold and brown,
To Mother Earth come tumbling down,
The breezy nights the ghostly sights,
The eerie spooky far off sounds
Are signs that it’s October.
The pumpkins yellow,. big and round
Are carried by costumed clumsy clowns
It’s Halloween – let’s celebrate.
5. October Journey
by Margaret Walker
I want to tell you what hills are like in October
when colors gush down mountainsides
and little streams are freighted with a caravan of leaves,
I want to tell you how they blush and turn in fiery shame
how their love burns with flames consuming and terrible
until we wake one morning and woods are like a smoldering
a glowing caldron full of jewelled fire;
the emerald earth a dragon’s eye
the poplars drenched with yellow light
and dogwoods blazing bloody red.
Travelling southward earth changes from gray rock to green velvet.
6. The Love of October
by W. S. Merwin
A child looking at ruins grows younger
and wants to wake to a new name
I have been younger in October
than in all the months of spring
walnut and may leaves the color
of shoulders at the end of summer
a month that has been to the mountain
and become light there
the long grass lies pointing uphill
even in death for a reason
that none of us knows
and the wren laughs in the early shade now
come again shining glance in your good time
naked air late morning
my love is for lightness
of touch foot feather
the day is yet one more yellow leaf
and without turning I kiss the light
by an old well on the last of the month
gathering wild rose hips
in the sun.
by Donald Justice
The days grow shorter.
Cranes walk the fairway now
In careless order.
They step so gradually
Toward the distant green
They might be brushstrokes
Animating a screen.
The water hazard.
Nearby, the little flag lifts,
Brave but frazzled.
Under sad clouds
Two white-capped golfers
Stand looking off, dreamy and strange,
Like young girls in Balthus.
8. When the Leaves Are Turning Brown
by Elizabeth Akers Allen
Never is my heart so gay
In the budding month of May,
Never does it beat a tune
Half so sweet in bloomy June,
Never knows such happiness
As on such a day as this,
When October dons her crown,
And the leaves are turning brown.
Breathe, sweet children, soft regrets
For the vanished violets;
Sing, young lovers, the delights
Of the golden summer nights;
Never in the sunnier hours
On my way such radiance showers
As from heaven falls softly down,
When the leaves are turning brown.
Braid your girdles, fresh and gay,
Children, in the bloom of May;
Twist your chaplets in young June,
Maidens, — they will fade full soon;
Twine ripe roses, July-red,
Lovers, for the dear one’s head;
I will weave my richer crown
When the leaves are turning brown
October Poems for Adults
Of course, October isn’t just for kids. Adults can also appreciate the beauty and complexity of the season through poetry. Adult October poems might explore themes like mortality, nostalgia, and the passage of time.
1. October’s Call
by Ed Blair
Do you ever in the fall,
Hear the sighing woodland’s call,
When the frosts of autumn turn the leaves to brown?
Do you ever feel a thrill,
Of delight in autumn’s chill,
When the deep, dark shades of evening settle down?
Do you ever like to be,
Like the aborigine,
In a tent down in the woodland dark and wild,
Where the Hoot Owls with delight,
Chill with terror and affright,
Those who in their lonely haunts may be beguiled?
Do you love the camp fire’s light,
Sputtering, sparkling, burning bright,
Then receding as the dying of the day?
Do you love the lullabies,
Of the zephyrs as they rise,
And among the forest branches softly play?
Come, then, ’tis October calling,
And the ripened nuts are falling,
And we’ll build a booming camp fire near the tent,
For the year is not complete,
If we miss October’s treat.
‘Tis the sweetest hour the year has sent.
2. The Glass Door
by Henrik Nordbrandt
Like someone who opens a door of glass
or sees his own reflection in it
when he returns from the woods
the light falls so variously here at the end of October
that nothing is whole or can be made into a whole
because the cracks are too uncertain and constantly moving.
Then you experience the miracle
of entering into yourself like a diamond
in glass, enjoying its own fragility
when the storm carries everything else away
including the memory of a freckled girlfriend
out over the bluing lake hidden behind the bare hills.
by Rebecca Hey
Autumn! a touching monitress art thou!
When, like a widow, thou dost throw aside
Thy idle gauds, thy glance of conscious pride,
And, kerchief’d in dim clouds, dost meekly throw
A faded garland round thy sadden’d brow.
I love to cope thee in thy chasten’d mood,
For earnestly, yet still in tones subdued,
Thou breathest truths befitting me to know:
And all things aid thy sober teaching well;
The mournful music of the falling leaves
Goes to the heart emphatic as a knell;
And, for the reaper’s song amid the sheaves,
Yon robin, on the almost leafless spray,
Pours wildly sweet his solitary lay.
4. Moon in October
by Hilda Conkling
The moon is at her crystal window
Spinning and weaving . . .
The moon looks out of her window of crystal.
She has no lights excepting stars
That hang on threads unknown
From her sky-ceiling, her walls.
Their twinkling is like the twittering of many birds
In the early morning.
The moon sits by her crystal window;
She sings to herself and spins . . .
Spins the pale blue silken thread
That holds earth danghng
Over deep light. . . .
(Now this is what the moon sings:)
Spin, spinning wheel,
Day and night too!
I keep it going all the time
To weave my robe of dew.
I make it from the fields of blue
And the robin’s breast;
The sun gives me rays
From the yellow west.
It shall be touched with evening
And with mellowy dew,
And send a separate shining
Down the sky to you,
My woven gown of sun-rays,
My silken gown of blue.
by Ruby Archer
The laughing months have all tripped gaily by,
With flower entangled hair, lips thrilled with song;
But lingering behind the merry throng
Comes one with smile more sad than any sigh,
And ’round her moaningly the dead leaves fly.
With backward glance her eyes the way prolong—
Wide, wistful eyes, intense with yearning strong
For warm young life too early doomed to die,
While thoughts were golden hours with sunbeams sown.
Now like a blossom memory fadeth fast.
Her joy is vanished. Like a dream it passed,
Or Summer’s leaves that ’round her now are blown.
She drops her flowers—a thistle falling last—
Then, sadly shivering, onward fares—alone.
6. A Song in October
by Theodor Storm
Clouds gather, treetops toss and sway;
But pour us wine, an old one!
That we may turn this dreary day
To golden, yes, to golden!
Autumn has come, but never fear,
Wait but a little while yet,
Spring will be here, the skies will clear,
And fields stand deep in violets.
The heavenly blue of fresh new days
Oh, friend, you must employ them
Before they pass away. Be brave!
Enjoy them; oh, enjoy them!
7. Fall Planting
by B. R. Jording
I see that old hammock out back,
Swaying lightly in the wind
That Autumn oft expels in October,
Waiting for me to come and dream,
But the bulbs that fill my tired Hands,
leaving trails of rusty earth
Must first be laid to rest,
I must tend to their needs first.
Whether you’re looking for spooky thrills or heartwarming nostalgia, October poems have something for everyone.
This rich and varied body of poetry invites us to reflect on the beauty and complexity of the season and celebrate the joys of being alive.
We hope this article has inspired you to explore some of the best October poems out there!
And if you have a favorite poem for October you’d like to share, we would really love it if you leave a comment below!