The following poem by Wallace Stevens is not explicitly about autumn. However, something about the season -- the clear and slanting light, perhaps -- always brings it to mind. The poem is, I think, one of Stevens's finest. He wrote it late in his life -- a time when he tended to pare back a bit the preciousness and abstraction of his earlier work and to speak more directly. (Something that he seemed to acknowledge in "First Warmth" ("I wonder, have I lived a skeleton's life . . .") and its successor, "As You Leave the Room.")
The River of Rivers in Connecticut
There is a great river this side of Stygia,
Before one comes to the first black cataracts
And trees that lack the intellligence of trees.
In that river, far this side of Stygia,
The mere flowing of the water is a gayety,
Flashing and flashing in the sun. On its banks,
No shadow walks. The river is fateful,
Like the last one. But there is no ferryman.
He could not bend against its propelling force.
It is not to be seen beneath the appearances
That tell of it. The steeple at Farmington
Stands glistening and Haddam shines and sways.
It is the third commonness with light and air,
A curriculum, a vigor, a local abstraction . . .
Call it, once more, a river, an unnamed flowing,
Space-filled, reflecting the seasons, the folk-lore
Of each of the senses; call it, again and again,
The river that flows nowhere, like a sea.
Wallace Stevens, The Rock (1954).