I welcomed the recent tips on the Faculty Blog about how law students and law professors might survive the problems and stress of the pandemic. However, the thrust of the tips seemed to be that we just have to get through or move past the actual and symbolic October of our lives. Poets, by contrast, have over the years been more inclined to say we should savor October and stretch it out in our consciousness.
Printed below is what the poet Robert Frost had to say about October. The grapes mentioned in the final lines, I think, are all of us. We could be richer in mind and spirit if October lasted as long as possible. With “hearts not averse to being beguiled,” we could better take on the challenges life has thrown our way.
by Robert Frost
O Hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
Tomorrow’s wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.
The crows above the forest call;
Tomorrow they may form and go.
O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow.
Make the day seem to us less brief.
Hearts not adverse to being beguiled,
Beguile us in the way you know.
Release one leaf at break of day;
At noon release another leaf;
One from our trees, one far away.
Retard the sun with gentle mist;
Enchant the land with amethyst.
For the grapes’ sake, if they were all,
Whose leaves already are burnt with frost,
Whose clustered fruit must else be lost–
For the grapes’ sake along the wall.