Early in November

Early in November

Early in November
           the lane opens
into a broad grassy
           upland field
of over twenty acres
           slightly sloping
to the south

Here I’m accustomed to walk
           for sky views and effects
either morning or sundown
           Today from this field
my soul is calmed and expanded
           beyond description
the whole forenoon
           by the clear blue
arching over all
           cloudless
only sky and daylight

The autumn leaves
           the cool dry air
the faint aroma
           crows cawing
in the distance
           two great buzzards
wheeling gracefully
           and slowly far up there
the occasional murmur
           of the wind
through the trees
           sometimes quite gentle
sometimes threatening
           a gang of farm-laborers
loading cornstalks
           in a field in sight
and the patient horses
           waiting

Walt Whitman


(adapted by John Lyons from November Boughs, 1888)

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