The turning of seasons instills in us a heightened degree of observation. Changes in air, of temperature, of aesthetic–we notice everything big and small from one season to another. And is there truly one that more capably embodies that very essence of change like fall? Just an image of trees swaying in crisp autumn breezes, revealing their colors, so beautiful and vivid that to see them so naked and vulnerable only a few short months from now–it’s enough to inspire anyone to pick up a pen.
Fall has a tremendous power. It wields it madly over our environments, intoxicating and overwhelming anyone who dares to stop and take too long of a look. Much has been written about this season, unsurprisingly. A quick Google search of “Best Fall Quotes” will turn up plenty, guaranteed, on blogs and online publications everywhere.
We’ve assembled a number of our own favorites as a kind of seasonal tribute. Some are short and some are long but each quotation and excerpt paints fall in all of its awe-inducing splendor and with as many colors as they can muster.
Go sit upon the lofty hill
And turn your eyes around,
Where waving winds and waters wild
Do hymn an autumn sound.
The summer sun is faint on them–
The summer flowers depart–
Sit still–as all transform’d to stone
Except your musing heart.
The Autumn by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
At no other time (than autumn) does the earth let itself be inhaled in one smell,
the ripe of earth; in a smell that is in no way inferior to the smell of the sea,
bitter where it borders on taste, and more honeysweet
where you feel it touching the first sounds. Containing depth within itself,
darkness, something of the grave almost.
Letters on Cézanne by Rainer Maria Rilke
I would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself,
than be crowded on a velvet cushion.
Henry David Thoreau
I cried over beautiful things knowing no beautiful thing lasts.
The field of cornflower yellow is a scarf at the neck of the copper sunburned woman,
the mother of the year, the taker of seeds.
The northwest wind comes and the yellow is torn full of holes,
new beautiful things come in the first spit of snow on the northwest wind, and the old things go,
not one lasts.
Autumn Movement by Carl Sandburg
In the autumn the leaves flamed and rattled
before the west winds,
tempering their sad adieu with glory
The Sword in the Stone by T.H. White
I cannot endure to waste anything so precious
as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house.
So I have spent almost all the daylight hours
in the open air.
It looked like the world was covered in a cobbler crust
of brown sugar and cinnamon.
First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen