Summer 2008 • Vol. XXX No. 3 PoetryJuly 1, 2008 |

‘Tis Yet to Come

The night is clear; the air is full of fall. The trees begin to think of changing shape, Of losing leaves, of stripping down to bare Essentials. No need to strut autumnal Beauty when everyone already knows What lies in store for all of us. The oaks, The maples, lindens, and the rest have been Through this before, and yet for you and me Each season brings the sense of something new. "Hope springs eternal," as the poet said. It springs through summer, autumn too, and then Hope falls eternal, failing every time To bring whatever once we thought it could. Our equilibrium demands that we At least attempt to think that seasons come And go with energetic forcefulness. We can't believe in random change, in change With nothing other than itself in mind. Our god is teleology, our creed The sense that progress moves in only one Direction; good will triumph after all. What pattern can we find in autumn's change? From summer's green to stubble fields, Keats knewThat harvest takes us all in by th

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Willard Spiegelman is the Hughes Professor of English at Southern Methodist University and the editor-in-chief of Southwest Review.

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