Today was one of those "golden clear-blue autumn days" (to quote Steve Forbert's song "Search Your Heart" from Streets of this Town). But these bright days are becoming ever shorter.
Autumn is easy, when disappointed leaves make scenes
At parting for ever from perennial boughs,
When naked laburnums in small front gardens pose
Their glistening limbs obliquely in the chilly rain.
Summer, too beautiful to appreciate,
Prints many yellow copies of defeat;
The brown sensations blow about the street
Or, thrown away by the wind, obstruct the grates.
But most in the earlier evenings someone's face
Flares for a moment at a match, or the lamplight
Cleans the darkness from a smudgy bough:
It is myself, and the mind descends like night
With infinite possibilities of truth
Upon the terraces that have taken place.
Stanley Cook, Woods Beyond a Cornfield: Collected Poems (1995). Stanley Cook (1922-1991) was born in Yorkshire and worked as a teacher there for most of his life. His poems contain an interesting mixture of both the urban and rural features of the area. Thus, for example, you find poems by him titled "M1 at Woolley Edge" and "Leaving Huddersfield by the A616." His poetry deserves a wider audience.
I cannot say that I have ever fully puzzled out the last three lines of "Autumn Evening." The final line -- "upon the terraces that have taken place" -- I find particularly elusive. What are "the terraces"? Serried rows of houses in a Yorkshire town? The empty boughs of trees? Or something more abstract? Or none of the above? But the line is beautiful whether or not I know exactly what it means. I am content to leave it at that.