Thursday 10 September 2015

September Time

I love this poem. Ted Hughes brilliantly captures that anxious and regretful sense of September bringing an end to all the glorious summer things and time ticking on relentlessly towards a kind of reckoning. There's so much in this poem - meditations on time and memory, love ending, and aging. The last stanza is particularly brilliant, that image of the trees so forlorn and apt and visually striking.

September - Ted Hughes

We sit late, watching the dark slowly unfold:
No clock counts this.
When kisses are repeated and the arms hold
There is no telling where time is.

It is midsummer: the leaves hang big and still:
Behind the eye a star,
Under the silk of the wrist a sea, tell
Time is nowhere.

We stand; leaves have not timed the summer.
No clock now needs
Tell we have only what we remember:
Minutes uproaring with our heads

Like an unfortunate King's and his Queen's
When the senseless mob rules;
And quietly the trees casting their crowns
Into the pools.


  1. AHHH!!!! I wrote a new blog today about the turning of the seasons / Autumn / reflection / renewal, and I used the word reckoning! So it felt like seeing a friend when I saw that word at the top of your post.

    Ted Hughes is hands down my favourite poet, always has been, always will be. This is the perfect September poem - all golden and goodbyes and wistfulness. Just lovely. (Have you read his poem 'Nightingale'? It's not one of his more famous ones, but it's one of my favourites, the language is just so spare and beautiful).

  2. And what a lovely blog post it is :)

    I am not that familiar with Hughes I must admit - but everything I've read I absolutely love. He does something with language that is truly amazing, alchemical really, so lyrically entrancing and fantastically in love with nature. Is there any collection of his you would recommend? I've often wondered which to start with...

    I will look up that poem now :)


I'd love to hear what you think! To leave a comment - comment as/sign in with your Google ID if you have one, or website or blog address, or if these don't apply, sign in as Anonymous, and leave your name if you like!