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Every year, when October arrives, we enjoy reading this beautiful poem, “October,” by Robert Frost. In it, he urges nature to slow down—before the leaves fall and the chilly weather begins!
“October” by Robert Frost
(from A Boy’s Will, 1913)
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. Slow, slow! 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.
Did you know that Robert Frost was a farmer poet? He owned a small 18-acre farm in Derry, New Hampshire. Frost would milk cows at midnight to stay up late writing poetry and not have to get up too early!
Frost moved to his farm in 1900 when many people were abandoning farms due to industrialization. Towns in the area started “Old Home Days” celebrations (a tradition practiced today), inviting former residents to spend a week of summer back “home” to experience the best of rural life.
Many of Frost’s poems—such as “October”—reflect his love of nature but also seem to speak to that loss of old-time country values. He truly brought the American landscape and spirit to life.
At The Old Farmer’s Almanac, we have our own farmer poets. If you have a copy of The Old Farmer’s Almanac, you’ll see the “Farmer’s Calendar” musings on the right of every monthly calendar page.