In the past, I have written of the bitter-sweetness of autumn. October -- the heart of autumn -- is, I think, the most bitter-sweet month of all.
September, on the other hand, is wistful. Summer persists, but there is a sense of something in the offing. In this part of the world, the weather this week will be lovely -- bright blue and in the upper-70s. For us, this is midsummer weather. But the lengthening shadows and the shorter days hint of something else.
A line from Wallace Stevens's "The Plain Sense of Things" comes to mind: "A fantastic effort has failed . . ."
September in Great Yarmouth
The woodwind whistles down the shore
Piping the stragglers home; the gulls
Snaffle and bolt their final mouthfuls.
Only the youngsters call for more.
Chimneys breath and beaches empty,
Everyone queues for the inland cold --
Middle-aged parents growing old
And teenage kids becoming twenty.
Now the first few spots of rain
Spatter the sports page in the gutter.
Council workmen stab the litter.
You have sown and reaped; now sow again.
The band packs in, the banners drop,
The ice-cream stiffens in its cone.
The boatman lifts his megaphone:
'Come in, fifteen, your time is up.'
Derek Mahon, Poems 1962-1978 (Oxford University Press 1979).