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Robert Frost Autumn Poems

Updated on November 26, 2014

Robert Frost: Evocative Poetry for Autumn

As I read Robert Frost's "In Hardwood Groves" I find myself thinking ahead a bit to the autumn season. In Seattle, where I live, there can be a sadness that comes with the transition to fall: The sky clouds over, the rains begin, and people don't want to be outside for longer than the time it takes them to reach their destination. Near as we are to the Arctic circle, the days grow short.

There is a greater awareness of the change of seasons here than there is in some other cities. How much more aware were people, though, in the early 20th century when New England poet Robert Frost began his career! The transition into the chill months was felt more strongly when folks didn't travel in heated cars and buses to heated homes -- and couldn't while away their evenings in front of a lighted computer screen.

The poem "In Hardwood Groves" connects the fall season with the cycle of life, painting autumn changes as painful but necessary. The otherworldly "Going for Water" takes a more lighthearted look at fall, but still hints at how harsh conditions could be for those of an earlier generation.

This page contains audio and print versions of these and other Robert Frost autumn poems, as well as links to lesson plans and resources.

A Late Walk: Audio Poetry Reading

"A Late Walk" captures the imagery -- and sadness -- of the fading of the fair part of the year. The birds are described as sober, the weeds withered. An evocative chill walk in late autumn ends with the speaker picking 'the last remaining aster flower' to carry again to...ah, to who? The poem doesn't say. Still, I get the sense it is a loved one, and that it might be an autumn romance in more ways than one.

Here is my audio reading of Robert Frost's "A Late Walk" -- hosted on Audioboo. (Click the 'listen' button under the photo.)

'Going for Water': Audio Reading

Robert Frost's "Going for Water" gives a sense of what autumn meant to those in an earlier era. The well was dry, so off went the narrator and his companion to "seek the brook if it still ran" -- in other words, to fetch water if the brook hadn't frozen over yet. This is serious business when one can't just turn on a tap! There is a playful tone, though, in this portrait of two people who see their quest for water as an excursion more so than a chore. In this way, the mood contrasts with that of "A Late Walk".

Here is an audio read of "Going for Water".

Going for Water: Musical Interpretation

Here is an enchanting musical interpretation of "Going For Water". The bit of crescendo as the speaker and his friend hear the brook... very fitting, I think, as it captures the excitement in the realization that the brook was indeed still flowing.

Note: The composer here has set quite a few other Robert Frost poems to music.

Robert Frost: New England in Autumn

Here are Robert Frost autumn poems delivered in their natural setting: the New England countryside. You can hear "After Apple Picking", "The Road Not Taken", and more. You get close to half an hour of poetry and visual displays.

In Hardwood Grove: Audio Reading

This Robert Frost autumn classic discusses the cycle of leaves and hints at the cycle of life we are all a part of. It ends on the poignant lines, "However it is in some other world, I know that this is the way in ours". We get a sense of the dancing young flowers' lack of thought to the leaves that lived before them. Might this parallel human behavior?

Printable Copies of Robert Frost Autumn Poems

These were done on Adobe Acrobat. I don't think everyone can assess them from their computer. I'll plan on putting a Google Doc version up in the future.

After Apple Picking

Here is another Robert Frost autumn classic performed on YouTube:

"After Apple Picking" captures post-harvest emotion: the mixture of thoughts a man experiences when he has just finished a "fruitful" but exhausting harvest season. He feels ready for sleep, perhaps even hibernation, but apples still permeate his thoughts.

I think many of us have experienced that feeling: It's hard to believe the job is really done and a time of rest is upon us.

"After Apple Picking" is one of six Robert Frost poems included in the Poetry Out Loud anthology. It is among the options for high school poetry recitation competitors.

October

"October" is a supplication to the month itself. It reminds us of the practical as well as emotional reasons we might want that autumn chill to make a slow entrance. In the early part of the poem, the reasons are abstract: We get a sense of a person who feels a sense of sorrow at the shortening of the days and the loss of the lush foliage. At the end, the speaker narrows his focus. He makes a plea for a particular group of grapes that will be lost if autumn falls too quickly. This is a man who is well aware of the effect weather has on the harvest season, and also seems to feel for the plants themselves.

The video below is a different take on the audio concept. Here we find a kaleidoscope of words and images set to music.

My November Guest

Is there beauty, too, in the late autumn when the world is bare but not yet snow-capped?

The imagery of "My November Guest" is that of the literal month, November: a time of year that some see as the bleakest of all. Readers may also find in the poem a symbolic meaning and a message about depression. The November guest might be a melancholy feeling, but one that is not without awareness of the beauty that exists even in a season of decay.

Bluebird
Bluebird

The Last Word of a Bluebird

As Told to a Child

Time for the birds to bid adieu and fly off to their winter lodgings! "The Last Word of a Bluebird" has a playful tone and a bit of a sing song quality. It was written for a child. How would you describe the rhyme scheme?

As I went out a Crow

In a low voice said, "Oh,

I was looking for you.

How do you do?

I just came to tell you

To tell Lesley (will you?)

That her little Bluebird

Wanted me to bring word

That the north wind last night

That made the stars bright

And made ice on the trough

Almost made him cough

His tail feathers off.

He just had to fly!

But he sent her Good-by,

And said to be good,

And look for skunk tracks

In the snow with an ax-

And do everything!

And perhaps in the spring

He would come back and sing.

Autumn Thoughts (or Last Words Before You Fly Away)

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    • wordswithlove profile image

      Neetu M 2 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      Thank you for a wonderful and elaborate elucidation of Robert Frost's poetry. I have always been very fond of nature poets who melt themselves into the spirit of it. Or perhaps, sometimes the other way round.

    • RandySturridge profile image

      RandySturridge 4 years ago

      I love Robert Frost...such a trying life he lived and endured quite a bit of loss. His words are lyrical. Great job on this lens. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I made sure to like the lens and spread this wonderful content through the shares on the right. I hope you get more traffic and exposure on this wonderful content.

    • rooshoo profile image

      rooshoo 4 years ago

      I love Robert Frost. What a great American poet.

    • LizMac60 profile image

      Liz Mackay 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      Love your readings.

    • jd-lecoq profile image

      jd-lecoq 4 years ago

      This is a great lens. I have been writing for a long time but I have never tried poetry until just recently. I find reading the great poets helps me understand the craft. Hopefully I can get better. I will post a few of my poems on Squidoo when I get the nerve to put them up. Very good material in this lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Fantastic lens and beautiful poetry!

    • profile image

      Aunt-Mollie 4 years ago

      This is an exquisite collection of his work. Beautiful readings. Liked!

    • profile image

      yogendrachavda 4 years ago

      very nice lens.. thanks

    • profile image

      SteveKaye 4 years ago

      Beautiful.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Awesome Thanks.

    • Rosaquid profile image

      Rosaquid 4 years ago

      Lovely. Thank you!

    • VspaBotanicals profile image

      VspaBotanicals 4 years ago

      Nice lens.

    • zigpop lm profile image

      zigpop lm 4 years ago

      Great lens, he is one of my favorite poets. Blessed. :-)

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      nice poems and i watch the video its very nice

    • AnuCosta profile image

      AnuCosta 4 years ago

      Nice...

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I used to read Frost when I felt down.

    • Lenskeeper profile image

      Lenskeeper 4 years ago

      Robert Frost is my favorite poet. Thanks for the page about Robert Frost autumn poems!

    • profile image

      JoshK47 4 years ago

      Popping on in with blessings for this lens!

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 4 years ago from San Francisco

      It's been a long time--high school perhaps--since I last read Robert Frost. I can almost hear the poet spinning the bluebird lyric to the child. Whimsical and fun. But In Hardwood Groves seems to carry layer upon layer of meaning, sending me off into flights of thought. I'd forgotten how good poetry can be, and how, when crafted so well, it can make the soul sing.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Wonderful. Thanks.

    • profile image

      coolmon2009 lm 4 years ago

      Nice lens on Frost

    • Ardyn25 profile image

      Ardyn25 4 years ago

      One of my favorite poets..thanks so much for putting this lovely lens together.

    • LeopoldBlatt profile image

      LeopoldBlatt 4 years ago

      Beautiful lens about a wonderful poet!

    • profile image

      GrinningFool 4 years ago

      Wonderful information about Frost's autumn poems!

    • iijuan12 profile image

      iijuan12 4 years ago from Florida

      Beautiful lens!

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 4 years ago

      There is something magic about autumn. It's like being alive in a different way, Great lens, Featuired on Blessed by Skiesgreen 2012-2. Hugs.

    • designsbyharriet profile image

      Harriet 4 years ago from Indiana

      Beautiful scenic poetry. Blessings.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 4 years ago from Central Florida

      I'm a big fan of Robert Frost. You created a lovely page here.

    • SheilaMilne profile image

      SheilaMilne 4 years ago from Kent, UK

      Lovely poetry! We don't hear too many of Frost's poems here in the UK, sadly.

    • Tonto Murray profile image

      Tonto Murray 4 years ago

      Beautiful Tribute lens. Blessings to you.

    • TolovajWordsmith profile image

      Tolovaj Publishing House 5 years ago from Ljubljana

      Beautiful poetry. Frost is a classic!

    • Mary Crowther profile image

      Mary Crowther 5 years ago from Havre de Grace

      In all of the stresses of today's world, I found your lens to be so calm and relaxing. Wonderful lens!

    • KarenHC profile image

      Karen 5 years ago from U.S.

      This is a lovely page! My husband and I were on a walk through the fall-colored woods a few days ago, and we were thinking about Robert Frost poems. I liked hearing your voice read these poems.

    • profile image

      gosmart 5 years ago

      What I like most of Robert Frost is this:

      The woods are lovely, dark, and deep.

      But I have promises to keep,

      And miles to go before I sleep,

      And miles to go before I sleep.

    • efriedman profile image

      efriedman 5 years ago

      Interesting to include audio versions of Frost's poems.

    • Johanna Eisler profile image

      Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

      How lovely! My home-schooled daughter's first Frost favorite was "Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening," later followed by "The Road Not Taken." We just love his work.

    • profile image

      RinchenChodron 5 years ago

      Robert Frost is truly great! Enjoyed your reading. Thanks

    • retta719 profile image

      Loretta 5 years ago from United States

      This lens totally brightened up my chilly autumn morning :)

    • marigoldina profile image

      Heather B 5 years ago

      Gorgeous lens! Robert Frost is one of the greats.

    • Momtothezoo profile image

      Eugenia S. Hunt 5 years ago

      Beautiful Lens...enjoyed reading the poetry of Robert Frost!

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 6 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      Fabulous reading! I enjoyed it very much! Robert Frost is one of my favorite poets.

    • BarbRad profile image

      Barbara Radisavljevic 6 years ago from Templeton, CA

      I loved your readings. A lovely fall lens. I'm putting it into my discovery section on my autumn lens.

    • profile image

      lilyofthevalley1 6 years ago

      Great recordings of Frost's work; what an original idea!

    • profile image

      JoshK47 6 years ago

      I have always found Robert Frost's work extremely captivating - great work on this lens.

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 6 years ago from Colorado

      Excellent! Really enjoyed this lens. The multi-media approach is powerful. Very nicely done! As one who lives off the grid, I could really relate to the need to go off seeking water. And, living where I do, I feel very intimately connected to the changing seasons. Autumn happens to be my favorite. I should add something by Robert Frost to my Quotations for Nature Lovers lens.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 6 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      What a wonderful lens and tribute to Robert Frost. I love his poetry and loved this lens. Great work.

    • KarenHC profile image

      Karen 6 years ago from U.S.

      I like Robert Frost, and I loved hearing your voice read some of his poems :-) On Squidoo, I start to recognize lensmasters names, and maybe their writing style, but this is really special to actually hear another Squidoo-er's voice!

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 6 years ago from United States

      This is really wonderful! I really enjoyed listening and I loved the poems to music. Fabulous!

    • ElizabethSheppard profile image

      Elizabeth Sheppard 6 years ago from Bowling Green, Kentucky

      This is a great idea for a lens. I love Robert Frost too. Great job. Thanks for posting these great links and ideas.

    • SacredCynWear profile image

      SacredCynWear 7 years ago

      I just love autumn, and robert frost too. Great lens (oh I miss the autumn)