Weekly Photo Challenge: EPHEMERAL

Robert Frost, quintessential New Englander and poet of his region, taught here for a number of years at Amherst College. He made what to me is the definitive statement about ephemeral in his wonderful short poem “Nothing Gold Can Stay”:

October's Gold

Nature’s first green is gold,

Her hardest hue to hold.

Her early leaf’s a flower;

But only so an hour.

Then leaf subsides to leaf.

So Eden sank to grief,

So dawn goes down to day.

Nothing gold can stay.

Frost here means the very first tender yellow-green buds of spring, which swiftly swell into mature deep green, then seem as swiftly to blaze forth into October’s golds and scarlets and crimsons.

But actually to me and to many, autumn is arguably the most beautiful season of the year in New England. We wait all year for it, freezing through the long long winter, slogging in mud season (otherwise laughingly called spring), sweating in the brief hot summer, until at last comes — October’s gold! How we long to hold on to it, this glorious golden season. But as the poet reminds us, sadly, however much we long for it, nothing gold can stay.

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This entry was posted in Autumn, Color, Nature, Photography, Poetry and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Weekly Photo Challenge: EPHEMERAL

  1. Barb says:

    We don’t hear the word ‘ephemeral’ much these days, but in this beautiful poem by Robert Frost – he nailed it!
    I love your photograph of the golden leaves of Autumn; they actually look like gold!

    • Touch2Touch says:

      I love that part: that October day the leaves literally were gold, it was wonderful.
      Of course then came the winter, which was unbelievably awful. High price. But that’s the way it goes.

  2. Mabel Kwong says:

    Beautiful poem by Frost. Lovely shot of the golden autumn leaves too. They always never last long, falling to the ground so fast. It’s autumn here in Melbourne right now. The leaves seem to be changing from green straight to brown 😀

    • Touch2Touch says:

      I do so hope that some at least will linger and turn to gold for a little while. Depending on their species, though, that may not be their fate. Crimson and scarlet are excellent too. But the brown ones (here in New England also) well, they’re a little disappointing. Not fair to them, they are what they are.
      But there it is.

  3. Stef says:

    Whenever I hear the word “ephemeral”, I think of Le Petit Prince. But Frost treats the topic very nicely, too.

    Here’s to beautiful autumn days.

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