I like spring, but it is too young. I like summer, but it is too proud. So I like best of all autumn, because its leaves are a little yellow, its tone mellower, its colours richer, and it is tinged a little with sorrow and a premonition of death. Its golden richness speaks not of the innocence of spring, nor of the power of summer, but of the mellowness and kindly wisdom of approaching age. It knows the limitations of life and is content. From a knowledge of those limitations and its richness of experience emerges a symphony of colours, richer than all, its green speaking of life and strength, its orange speaking of golden content and its purple of resignation and death. ~ Lin Yutang
Above the ocean. I saw through half-shut eyelids a vulture wheeling
high up in heaven,
And presently it passed again, but lower and nearer, its orbit
I understood then
That I was under inspection. I lay death-still and heard the flight-
Whistle above me and make their circle and come nearer.
I could see the naked red head between the great wings
Bear downward staring. I said, ‘My dear bird, we are wasting time
These old bones will still work; they are not for you.’ But how
he looked, gliding down
On those great sails; how beautiful he looked, veering away in the
over the precipice. I tell you solemnly
That I was sorry to have disappointed him. To be eaten by that beak
become part of him, to share those wings and those eyes–
What a sublime end of one’s body, what an enskyment; what a life
The Whole World’s Sadly
Talking To Itself
–W. B. Yeats
By James Tate
“Hands full of sand,
I say: take this,
this is what I have saved;
I earned this with my genius,
and because I love you…
Take this, hurry.
I am dropping everything
and then I listened:
I was not saying anything;
out of all that had gone into
the composition of the language
and what I knew of it
I had chiselled these words
– take this, hurry-
and you could not hear me.
I had said nothing.
And then I am leaving,
making ready to go to another street,
when you, mingled between sleep
and delirium, turned
and handed me an empty sack:
Take this, my friend;
I am not coming back.
The ghost of a flower poised on your lip”
“Life is for the living.
Death is for the dead.
Let life be like music.
And death a note unsaid.”
― Langston Hughes
Before us great Death stands
Our fate held close within his quiet hands.
When with proud joy we lift Life’s red wine
To drink deep of the mystic shining cup
And ecstasy through all our being leaps—
Death bows his head and weeps.
Rainer Maria Rilke