A year or so ago, I posted Seamus Heaney's "Postscript," which is about an autumn drive "out west/Into County Clare, along the Flaggy Shore." The poem concludes as follows:
. . . You are neither here nor there,
A hurry through which known and strange things pass
As big soft buffetings come at the car sideways
And catch the heart off guard and blow it open.
Seamus Heaney, The Spirit Level (Faber and Faber 1996).
The following poem by Charles Tomlinson is also about a drive in autumn, a drive in which the wind again plays a part.
by the choreography of the season
the eye could not
with certainty see
whether it was wind
stripping the leaves or
the leaves were struggling to be free:
They came at you
in decaying spirals
plucked flung and regathered by the same
force that was twisting
the scarves of the vapour trails
dragging all certainties out of course:
As the car resisted it
you felt it in either hand
commanding car, tree, sky,
master of chances,
and at a curve was a red
board said 'Danger':
I thought it said dancer.
Charles Tomlinson, Written on Water (1972).
Tomlinson's conflation of "danger" and "dance" puts me in mind of Dorothy Wordsworth's description of a last leaf dancing upon a tree, which I have previously posted here:
"William and I drank tea at Coleridge's. . . . Observed nothing particularly interesting. . . . One only leaf upon the top of a tree -- the sole remaining leaf -- danced round and round like a rag blown by the wind."
Both William Wordsworth and Coleridge were wont to appropriate observations made by Dorothy Wordsworth into their own poetry. Thus, Coleridge later wrote in "Christabel":
The one red leaf, the last of its clan,
That dances as often as dance it can,
Hanging so light, and hanging so high,
On the topmost twig that looks up at the sky.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge, "Christabel."