Celebrate National Poetry Day with ‘Autumn’ by Alexander McCall Smith

  05 Oct '22   |  Posted by: Birlinn

In Celebration of National Poetry Day, we are sharing a timely poem from Alexander McCall Smith’s collection In A Time of Distance. ‘Autumn’ muses on this season of change and migration, and the opportunities it brings for some deeper self-reflection.

Look, the migrating birds
Are leaving us, small souls
That brave three thousand miles
To Africa, to warmth;
They populate the sky,
They take the last
Attributes of summer;
They are gone, and now
The winds will have them,
Their journey starts
In the knowledge that this,
Like the seasons, has to be.

Autumn is a time of reflection;
Of the making of lists,
Of books to be read now
That the nights are drawing in;
Of letters to be written,
Friends to be remembered,
The things they said
To be thought about further.
Perhaps, in short, to think
About what it is that makes
This life so precious
Of what it is that breaks the heart.
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