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Autumn Fires
by
Robert Louis Stevenson


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In the other gardens
     And all up the vale,
From the autumn bonfires
     See the smoke trail!
 
Pleasant summer over
     And all the summer flowers,
The red fire blazes,
     The grey smoke towers.
 
Sing a song of seasons!
     Something bright in all!
Flowers in the summer,
     Fires in the fall!
 
This poem is in the public domain.
 
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Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) is, for many of us, the first poet to whom we were introduced, through his wonderful book, A Child's Garden of Verses. Though he came from a family of engineers and it was expected he would follow suit, Robert wrote stories even as a child; no one was really surprised when, three years into his engineering studies at the University of Edinburgh, he abandoned them to study writing. Always an avid traveller, despite lifelong poor health, Robert spent much of his life looking for a place to live that offered some respite from his illnesses. A prolific writer of poetry, fiction (Kidnapped, Treasure Island, and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hide are his best known), travelogues, and political essays, he is properly revered today as a major literary figure, although in the early twentieth century, he was temporarily dismissed and disdained as "a children's author." Ultimately, Robert ending up living in Samoa, happy and productive until a stroke abruptly ended his life at the age of 44. 

 


New comments are closed for now.
martin1223:
October chill the silence in this shadow tinywords Issue 10.3 | 12 October 2010
Posted 11/19/2012 01:08 AM
Wilda Morris:
When I was a teen (and maybe a year or two earlier also) my favorite chore was burning the trash and, in the fall, the leaves. This poem brought back some good memories (sorry, though, that I was causing air pollution!).
Posted 11/13/2012 03:32 PM
KevinArnold:
Such effortless form. Precision.
Posted 11/13/2012 09:18 AM
CamilleBalla:
Very inspiring on a cold morning! '...Fires in the fall!' Thank you.
Posted 11/13/2012 06:51 AM


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