by Charles Simic. For more biographical info please visit:

October Arriving



I only have a measly ant
To think with today.
Others have pictures of saints,  
Others have clouds in the sky.


The winter might be at the door,  
For he’s all alone
And in a hurry to hide.  
Nevertheless, unable to decide


He retraces his steps
Several times and finds himself  
On a huge blank wall  
That has no window.


Dark masses of trees
Cast their mazes before him,  
Only to erase them next
With a sly, sea-surging sound.

Charles Simic, “October Arriving” from The Voice at 3:00 AM: Selected Late and New Poems. Copyright © 2003 by Charles Simic. Reprinted with the permission of Harcourt, Inc. This material may not be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of the publisher.

Source: The Voice at 3:00 AM: Selected Late and New Poems (Harcourt, Inc., 2003)

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Written on 2010-10-04 at 02:43

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Rob Graber
A great pair this and jim's comment make! The incrociata quatrain, not a favorite with me, is used well by Larkin.

For my friend in Cape Town, where October means something else.

The Trees

The trees are coming in to leaf
Like something almost being said;
The recent buds relax and spread,
Their greenness is a kind of grief.

Is it that they are born again
And we grow old? No, they die too.
Their yearly trick of looking new
Is written in the rings of grain.

Yet still the unresting castles thresh
In fullgrown thickness ever May.
Last year is dead, they seem to say,
Begin afresh, afresh, afresh.

Philip Larkin