Nov 2 • 5M

In the Elegy Season

Richard Wilbur

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Anthony Esolen
Stop by on Wednesdays to listen to Tony read the poem of the week. Sometimes you have to hear it to believe it!
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Today’s poem, “In the Elegy Season,” is fit for the time of year and the day, if you are in the northern hemisphere — for it is drawing toward summertime in Australia and Argentina — and if you know what it is like not just to see the leaves turn color in the fall, but to watch them fall, and to smell that rich and moist smell that is not unpleasant, but that speaks to you without words, telling of things that fall away and die, things for which you might compose an elegy if you were so inclined.


Haven’t you experienced it, dear reader? For me, the sour smell of wild apples fallen to the street, sometimes tossed by one of us boys at a telephone pole or a road sign, sometimes pelted at each other especially when they were half rotten and brown, that smell somehow brings me back to Archbald, and I’m a boy again, and there’s school and the sadness of school, and a hint of snow in the air. Now there are two things you can do when you are in this time, Wilbur suggests. The one is…

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