A new season’s upon us here in the Northern United States — fall! And a new season’s upon us here at Hope College — the presidency of Matthew Scogin, inaugurated today. In celebration, here are a few of our favorite literary quotations on changing seasons and new beginnings.

As a special encore below, we’ve also included tidbits from poems that Hope professors created for last night’s “Transformed by Hope: A Celebration of the Arts”!

Edna St. Vincent Millay, from “God’s World“:

O world, I cannot hold thee close enough!
   Thy winds, thy wide grey skies!
   Thy mists, that roll and rise!
Thy woods, this autumn day, that ache and sag
And all but cry with colour!  


Lord, I do fear
Thou’st made the world too beautiful this year

John Keats, from “Ode to Autumn“:

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core

Rainer Maria Rilke, from “Autumn Day” (“Herbsttag,” translated from German):

It is time, Lord. Summer was grand. 
Now lay your shadow on the day, 
and bathe your fields in the wind. 
Let the late harvest linger.

J.K. Rowling, from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows:

Autumn seemed to arrive suddenly that year. The morning of the first September was crisp and golden as an apple.

We know it’s not October yet, but we just had to include these two…

L.M. Montgomery, from Anne of Green Gables:

I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers. It would be terrible if we just skipped from September to November, wouldn’t it? Look at these maple branches. Don’t they give you a thrill—several thrills?

Rainbow Rowell, from Attachments:

October, at last!
Callooh! Callay!
I was born in February, but I come alive in October.
October, baptize me with leaves! Swaddle me in corduroy and nurse me with split pea soup.
October, tuck tiny candy bars in my pockets and carve my smile into a thousand pumpkins.
O autumn! O teakettle! O grace!
Merry October!

Willa Cather, from My Antonia:

I took a long walk north of the town, out into the pastures where the land was so rough that it had never been ploughed up, and the long red grass of early times still grew shaggy over the draws and hillocks. Out there I felt at home again. Overhead the sky was that indescribable blue of autumn; bright and shadowless, hard as enamel. To the south I could see the dun-shaded river bluffs that used to look so big to me, and all about stretched drying cornfields, of the pale-gold colour, I remembered so well. Russian thistles were blowing across the uplands and piling against the wire fences like barricades. Along the cattle-paths the plumes of goldenrod were already fading into sun-warmed velvet, grey with gold threads in it. I had escaped from the curious depression that hangs over little towns, and my mind was full of pleasant things.

Gerard Manley Hopkins, from “Spring and Fall“:

 Margaret, are you grieving
   Over Goldengrove unleaving?
   Leaves, like the things of man, you
   With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
   Ah! as the heart grows older
   It will come to such sights colder
   By and by, nor spare a sigh
   Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie

Hope Professor Emeritus Jack Ridl, from “After Hearing the Professor Say, ‘She’s Just An Average Student”‘:

So, for all I know, I am
an average coffee drinker spending
an average early morning watching
an average squirrel searching for
average acorns in our average yard,
readying for yet another average winter.

Hope Professor Susanna Childress, from “Autumn Garden”:

A frost
will speak its truth, as over the night it rides some small
wind, crusting the tips of each thing in shadow. It does not
ruin, not yet.

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