“I have known autumn too long”: e e cummings captures Autumn’s fleeting melancholy

Today, feeling drifty and pleasantly melancholic as befits the season, I went looking for an apt quote to accompany my two autumn pictures, taken earlier this week on a glorious, cooling, sunlit autumnal walk toward my office at the far edge of lovely Kelvingrove Park, Glasgow, Scotland, UK .Here is the quote, from one of my favourite poets, e.e.cummings, born, appropriately, on 14th October. For me, it strikes the right notes of simplicity, power and bleakness.

“A wind has blown the rain away and blown the sky away and all the leaves away, and the trees stand. I think, I too, have known autumn too long.”

e. e. cummings

Enjoy the photos! Feel free, also, to add a favourite autumnal quote of your own in the comments box, should the spirit of autumn move you to do so…

Sunlit Path
Sunlit Path
Leaf Fall
Leaf Fall

photos: Anne Whitaker


200 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2015
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page




20 thoughts on ““I have known autumn too long”: e e cummings captures Autumn’s fleeting melancholy

  1. Autumn never fails to remind me of John Masefield’s poem ‘Sea Fever’: (second verse)
    I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
    Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
    And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
    And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

    1. Thanks for this, Bev! You’ve reminded me of Masefield’s wonderfully evocative poem which I loved in my schooldays – growing up by the sea his opening line ‘ I must go down to the sea again…’ always called to me. And still does…

  2. I was in my thirties and living in an arid zone, when I realised how much I liked autumn, and how much I was missing it. Eventually, I moved to where the four seasons could be expected, and yes, the green stubble of fresh grass after opening rains coming through the land baked by summer’s fierce heat is such a relief.
    Lovely photos 🙂 And now I see I share something with e.e.cummings…..

  3. How grateful I feel for earlier generations who set aside land for city parks and created these havens of joy for us who have come after. Fabulous photos of a place that helped to heal my spirit all those decades ago – along with the Botanic Gardens. And it was largely you Anne, gave me the strength to start on that new journey through Glasgow. Full circles in the autumn of our lives.

    1. Thanks for this lovely reply, Jane – it would be good to think that our current city fathers (or mothers!) had that kind of foresight…hmmmm…
      I well recall our meanders through Kelvingrove with your little boys all those years ago. And thank you for your kind words. Much appreciated.

  4. It’s interesting that we all experience autumn, and yet autumn has come to be defined for many of us in very specific ways: the colorful leaves, certain songs and poetry, and so on. Eremophila’s comment reminds me that in the antipodal regions of our world, the sights and sounds of these months are quite different. They’re experiencing what we shall in onlly a few months more.

    In the meantime, here’s one from Miss Emily Dickinson, which I’d forgotten, and which I may make use of myself:

    As imperceptibly as Grief
    The Summer lapsed away—
    Too imperceptible at last,
    To seem like Perfidy—
    A Quietness distilled
    As Twilight long begun
    Or Nature spending with herself
    Sequestered Afternoon—
    The Dusk drew earlier in—
    The Morning foreign shone—
    A courteous, yet harrowing Grace,
    As Guest, that would be gone—
    And thus, without a Wing
    Or service of a Keel
    Our Summer made her light escape
    Into the Beautiful.

  5. Thanks to Ronnie Grishman, via Facebook, 23.10.15, for this brief, poignant poem:

    “Fall, leaves, fall; die, flowers, away;
    Lengthen night and shorten day;
    Every leaf speaks bliss to me
    Fluttering from the autumn tree.”

    –Emily Bronte

  6. Lovely, Anne. I also find that Autumn brings a bit of melancholy and wistfulness, along with the beautiful colors. I’ve been feeling it these recent weeks, to be sure, as the seasons shift around me! Blessings, Jamie

    1. Many thanks, Jamie! We need to be reminded in this technology-dominated era that we are creatures of Mother Nature, and when She moves and shifts, we shift with her….autumn does that reminding, very well…

  7. the photos are beautiful. i pondered the post and thought, “Autumn? I’ve forgotten about autumn!” surrounded by gingers, heliconias and other exotic tropicals, i truly had forgotten about the change of seasons!

    autumn is special..i hope that it stays lovely and lingers before winter begins where you are.

    1. Many thanks, Lisa – your feedback on the photos is appreciated especially since yours are so vivid and give such a wonderful picture – disrupted and painful though things are there at present – of the unique flavour of where you live, and especially of the warmth and vibrancy.

      Our lovely, crisp slow autumn is, I’m afraid, giving way to murky drizzle at present. Our default weather setting in the West of Scotland…

Leave a Reply to Anne WhitakerCancel reply