Fall, leaves, fall

I don’t know about where you live, but for me it’s time to start cleaning up the leaves. Not too much, but I need to keep an eye on them, especially around the gutters. And after Fall leaves, Fall leaves. Ha, see what I did there? Ok, on to the poem…


Emily Bronte is mostly known for her one novel, Wuthering Heights. It’s a worldwide classic…taught in schools, cited in popular culture, and parodied by Monty Python. However, she also wrote a little poetry, including “Fall, leaves, fall”:


Fall, leaves, fall; die, flowers, away;

Lengthen night and shorten day;

Every leaf speaks bliss to me

Fluttering from the autumn tree.

I shall smile when wreaths of snow

Blossom where the rose should grow;

I shall sing when night’s decay

Ushers in a drearier day.


I mean, it doesn’t start out sounding too nice, and shorter days seem to be a bummer for most people I know. Yet the speaker seems to be glad this is happening. But why? Why will the speaker “smile” when it snows? What is so exciting about a “drearier day”…one that’s even drearier than the shortened one currently experienced?


Ok, I know I talked about the excitement around Fall in a previous blog.  Many of us have reasons to look forward to winter but this poem is tricky. I almost wonder, especially since there is some mystery around the life of the poet, why the speaker is so excited for the snow and dreariness. The leaves die. Snow exists where roses “should grow”. It’s like the speaker is looking forward to something colder, and with less life…perhaps death?


Anyway…now I must “leave” you to clean out the gutter…

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