Autumn Descends

October 03, 2012

Much of the poetry that has endured the longest is about the relentless movement of time, and in ways all art is about just that. Here’s a landscape in which time is at work, by Geraldine Connolly, who lives in Montana. [Introduction by Ted Kooser.]

Flathead Lake, October

The eagle floats and glides,
circling the burnished aspen,

then takes the high pines
with a flash of underwing.

As surely as the eagle sails
toward the bay’s open curve,

as surely as he swoops and seizes
the struggling fish, pulling

it from an osprey’s beak;
so too, autumn descends,

to steal the glistening
summer from our open hands.

American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2007 by Geraldine Connolly, from her most recent book of poems, Hand of the Wind, Iris Press, 2009. Reprinted by permission of Geraldine Connolly and the publisher. Introduction copyright  2012 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction’s author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006.

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