Friday, October 26, 2007

Poetry Friday - Gathering Leaves

It's that time of year. The leaves are beginning to fall, though the drought in many areas has left the colors muted and less vivid than in years past. Since we have been out raking leaves every day after school, I have them on my mind (and in my shoes, my hair, my house . . .). In honor of the fallen, I offer up this gem.
Gathering Leaves
by Robert Frost

Spades take up leaves
No better than spoons,
And bags full of leaves
Are light as balloons.

I make a great noise
Of rustling all day
Like rabbit and deer
Running away.

But the mountains I raise
Elude my embrace,
Flowing over my arms
And into my face.

I may load and unload
Again and again
Till I fill the whole shed,
And what have I then?

Next to nothing for weight,
And since they grew duller
From contact with earth,
Next to nothing for color.

Next to nothing for use.
But a crop is a crop,
And who's to say where
The harvest shall stop?
Today's round up is being hosted over at Literary Safari. Please stop by and check out all the great posts. And while it may not be poetic, I have posted a new thematic list on books for fall. It does include excerpts from some poems you might want to explore. Happy poetry Friday, all!


  1. thankyou for this high quality site!

  2. Professor Howdy,
    Thanks for stopping by. I just read that passage from Ecclesiastes yesterday. I have removed your comment, just because of sheer length. I have saved the links you so graciously shared and will take some time to explore them. Thanks for visiting.

  3. I love how Frost points out the weight (or lack thereof) of the leaves in contrast to their bulk. One thing he forgot is the value of composting though! I count all my leaves as next year's garden black gold.

    Thanks for the fall book list.

  4. Thanks for the lovely fall reflection :)!

  5. "A harvest's a harvest."
    I love that melancholic little line. It's not what it was, but it's what we've got.

    Hopefully the leaf-gatherer learned that leaf mold makes good mulch.

    I like this poem - it's a little sad, because I save leaves every year -- it's a transient beauty representing death, and even that fades...

  6. My favorite lines are the opening two...the alliteration and the wry humor at the futileness of trying to control leaves.

  7. Robert Frost has this way of making every mundane thing magical. This is a perfect fall poem, and for those of us who are still looking at green leaves, it's giving us hope that soon we'll get to see some colors too. And, what a cool fall reading list. thank you so much for it.