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Autumn
by
Helen Keller


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(An Excerpt)


Oh, what a glory doth the world put on
These peerless, perfect autumn days
There is a beautiful spirit of gladness everywhere.
The wooded waysides are luminous with brightly painted leaves;
The forest-trees with royal grace have donned
Their gorgeous autumn tapestries;
And even the rocks and fences are broidered
With ferns, sumachs and brilliantly tinted ivies.
But so exquisitely blended are the lights and shades,
The golds, scarlets and purples, that no sense is wearied;
For God himself hath painted the landscape.

The hillsides gleam with golden corn;
Apple and peach-trees bend beneath their burdens of golden fruit.
The golden-rods, too, are here, whole armies of them,
With waving plumes, resplendent with gold;
And about the wild grapes, purple and fair and full of sunshine,
The little birds southward going
Linger, like travelers at an Inn,
And sip the perfumed wine.
And far away the mountains against the blue sky stand
Calm and mysterious, like prophets of God,
Wrapped in purple mist.


This poem is in the public domain.



Helen Adams Keller (1880 1968) was born in Alabama and, at 19 months, suffered an illness that left her blind and deaf. Strong-willed and precocious even as an infant, she learned to read and write through the tutelage of Anne Sullivan, who became a life-long companion. Eventually mastering several alternative methods of communication, Helen attended and graduated from Radcliffe College, the first deaf and blind person ever to earn a B.A. A spokesperson for the American Foundation for the Blind for more than 40 years, she wrote more than a dozen books (one of which was her autobiography, The Story of My Life, which has spawned multiple film and theatrical productions), was a fierce activist for disability rights, and was co-founder of the American Civil Liberties Union.


Post New Comment:
Anastasia:
What an inspiring poem! Thank you, Jayne!
Posted 06/28/2021 12:12 AM
paradea:
Incredible!
Posted 06/27/2021 10:42 PM
Lori Levy:
Amazing that she was able to write this.
Posted 06/27/2021 10:15 PM
cork:
She is a model for all of us.
Posted 06/27/2021 09:55 AM
Janet Leahy:
incredible that a child of 13, who could not see or hear could write this beautiful poem. Thanks Jayne for the interesting bio.
Posted 06/27/2021 08:53 AM
pwax:
Thanks, Jayne. Hard to imagine a blind person writing such a visual poem. And thanks for the bio. I had no idea she was a co-founder of the ACLU!
Posted 06/27/2021 08:12 AM
Rob:
Great find! I too have visited/toured Helen Keller's house. Highly recommended if you find yourself in the neighborhood!
Posted 06/27/2021 07:37 AM


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