Posts Tagged ‘Rachel Field’


So that’s it then. It’s official. Summer is over. The autumnal equinox in the northern hemisphere arrived at 5:18 PM EDT on September 22. Not that we needed an official time to let us know that the summer of 2009 is fading away into memory. All around, there are plenty of signs that winter is on its way. It has to be admitted that, if we really must slide back into winter, fall is a pretty nice way to watch the summer disappear.


Among my favorite fall sights are the vees of Canada Geese winging in waves across the sky, their goodbye song trailing out behind them and drifting down to my ears. One of my favorites of the poems that I shared with my kids when they were young is about the geese in fall. It’s titled Something Told the Wild Geese, by Rachel Field. It captures something of the mystery of migration and the melancholia of their departure. Here it is:


Something told the wild geese
It was time to go.
Though the fields lay golden
Something whispered, “Snow.”

Leaves were green and stirring
Berries, luster-glossed.
But beneath warm feathers
Something cautioned, “Frost!”

All the sagging orchards
Steamed with amber spice.
But each wild breast stiffened
At remembered ice.

Something told the wild geese,
It was time to fly —
Summer sun was on their wings,
Winter in their cry.

Rachel Field


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