Friday, October 19, 2012

World Weaver Press Guest Post: Autmunal Spells

Today my contribution to the Haunted October Blog Tour is up at World Weaver Press. Reaching breathtaking new heights of pretentiousness, I talk about autumn, and my favorite poem. Really. The following piece appears on the World Weaver Press blog. Here's an excerpt:
The very edition I was reading!

Autumn comes slowly in New York City. It is creeping and yellow, with little of the brilliance and ruddy vibrancy you find in colder climates. It is hard to tell precisely when it begins, especially as we are still contending with 70-degree days well into October. Some people still insist fall begins after Labor Day; others, more literal-minded, stick with the equinox. For most, it isn’t fall until it feels like fall.

But for me it isn’t fall until I start hearing voices.

I know it’s autumn when certain lyrics start whispering through my mind. Their annual return begins with the first good, cold, gust of wind; when the first dry brown leaves scuttle behind me like ghosts; when the slanted, blinding sunlight suddenly catches my eyes – that’s when the poem bursts upon me and I know fall is here.

Especially when the October wind…

I remember the first time I read these words. I was fifteen years old and sitting in the park with a paperback copy of the Collected Poems of Dylan Thomas I’d found at my school library. I wasn’t sure which poem to start with so, given that it was a warm, tawny, October afternoon, I figured I’d start with something that seemed apt:

Especially when the October wind
With frosty fingers punishes my hair
Caught by the crabbing sun I walk on fire
And cast a shadow crab upon the land…

My hair may have stood on end. I remember it standing on end. And I remember that the leaves seem to shiver in the breeze and the world was suddenly full of fiery shadows crab-walking to the horizon, the park full of the “wordy shapes of women, walking like the trees” and “rows of star-gestured children.”

Though the words were abstract, I knew exactly what this poem meant. And I knew that whatever it was I had been looking for, I had found it. 


Want more? Then head over to the World Weaver Press blog, I say!

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