Monday, 21 September 2015

There Came a Day and His Name Was Autumn

Yep, and today may be that very day, being on the cusp of the autumn equinox and all. A time of turning and change.  (Yay to the apple and blackberry pie though...)

There Came a Day - Ted Hughes

There came a day that caught the summer
Wrung its neck
Plucked it
And ate it.

Now what shall I do with the trees?
The day said, the day said.
Strip them bare, strip them bare.
Let´s see what is really there.

And what shall I do with the sun?
The day said, the day said.
Roll him away till he´s cold and small.
He´ll come back rested if he comes back at all.

And what shall I do with the birds?
The day said, the day said.
The birds I´ve frightened, let them flit,
I´ll hang out pork for the brave tomtit.

And what shall I do with the seed?
The day said, the day said.
Bury it deep, see what it´s worth.
See if it can stand the earth.

What shall I do with the people?
The day said, the day said.
Stuff them with apple and blackberry pie –
They´ll love me then till the day they die.

Then came this day and he was autumn.
His mouth was wide
And red as a sunset.
His tail was an icicle.


  1. Ah, Siobahn, Siobahn...No comments yet! What an ungrateful and soul-less audience! Thank you for posting. I couldn't remember the poem, only the last few lines so Googled and found you! I first heard it many years ago around, I think, the time my first son was born, read by Roger McGough on an Autumn edition of 'Poetry Please' on Radio 4...then had it in a children's poetry book that I used to read to mine when they were young. Then they grew up! The reason I was looking was because my youngest is currently at uni in the U.S...Florida, and is today enjoying 25C and unbroken sunshine so, on this cold, wet, grey, drab day I thought I would send him a reminder of the changing seasons, and what he's 'missing'! Alan M

    1. Ha, thank you Alan. A very good story to go with a very good poem! I love this poem. It is one of Ted Hughe's poems for children but its language is so precise and pitch-perfect in describing autumn that adults get a kick out of it too.
      Glad you enjoyed it! Hope your son does too. :)


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