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HALLOWEEN...
October 31, 2007 - 6:31pm

By

UD

...and, as an arty type, I've got my bag of treats for the night: The Day of the Dead passages in Malcolm Lowry's Under the Volcano; Richard Wilbur's poem, "In the Elegy Season"...

I even lectured on Kafka's kafkaesque "Metamorphosis" today.

Yet this year, with Letters of Ted Hughes set for release tomorrow, I find myself reading and rereading a Hughes poem about this time of year.

The Seven Sorrows

The first sorrow of autumn

Is the slow goodbye

Of the garden who stands so long in the evening -

A brown poppy head,

The stalk of a lily,

And still cannot go.

The second sorrow

Is the empty feet

Of a pheasant who hangs from a hook with his brothers.

The woodland of gold

Is folded in feathers

With its head in a bag.

And the third sorrow

Is the slow goodbye

Of the sun who has gathered the birds and who gathers

The minutes of evening,

The golden and holy

Ground of the picture.

The fourth sorrow

Is the pond gone black

Ruined and sunken the city of water -

The beetle's palace,

The catacombs

Of the dragonfly.

And the fifth sorrow

Is the slow goodbye

Of the woodland that quietly breaks up its camp.

One day it's gone.

It has only left litter -

Firewood, tentpoles.

And the sixth sorrow

Is the fox's sorrow

The joy of the huntsman, the joy of the hounds

The hooves that pound

Til earth closes her ear

To the fox's prayer.

And the seventh sorrow

Is the slow goodbye

Of the face with its wrinkles that looks through the window

As the year packs up

Like a tatty fairground

That came for the children.

 

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