We can always count on authors like Edgar Allan Poe, Mary Shelley, and Stephen King to imbue fear and whimsy into their words and spin them into wisdom on a page. There’s something mystical in the way they write about such things as the autumn season that causes us to feel the bite in the air, the chill in our bones, and the whispers of the leaves as they change color and fall from the trees. Here are seven quotes of mysticism and misery guaranteed to feed the senses!
Edgar Allan Poe’s Grey, Gloomy Autumn Day Leaves Us Despondent
“During the whole of a dull, dark, and soundless day, in the autumn of the year, when the clouds hung oppressively low in the heavens, I had been traveling alone on horseback, through a singularly dreary tract of country; and at length found myself, as the shades of the evening drew on, within view of the melancholy House of Usher.”-Edgar Allan Poe, The Fall of the House of Usher
Poe certainly brings out a sense of despair that truly seems to encapsulate the heaviness in only a few lines. There’s an emptiness that makes this quote perfectly moody. And I think we can all agree that sometimes fall isn’t always our friend, but more of a thing we endure until the weather changes again. Poe’s expression isn’t just words but an all-encompassing attitude we all know too well.
Shirley Jackson’s Devouring of the Seasons Leaves Us Still Hungry
“We eat the year away. We eat the spring and the summer and the fall. We wait for something to grow and then we eat it.”-Shirley Jackson, We Have Always Lived in the Castle
Ah, we’re never satisfied, it seems. We hunger and hunger and hunger some more. Not just for food but for all things, which is what makes this quote the perfect moody one for this list. Take it as a good sign or a bad one, but we must face the music: life doesn’t always leave us feeling full, and Jackson sums up our gluttony throughout each seasonal year in two little lines.
Mary Shelley’s Autumn Leaves Us Bereft of Joy at the Coming of Another Dreary Season
“Autumn passed thus. I saw, with surprise and grief, the leaves decay and fall, and nature again assume the barren and bleak appearance it had worn when I first beheld the woods and the lovely moon. Yet I did not heed the bleakness of the weather…”-Mary Shelley, Frankenstein
Shelley doesn’t just simply tell us how to feel about fall, she makes sure we take in every part of it that we have no choice but to commiserate with the monster’s woe over the withering and rot of the leaves, despairing our hearts as summer passes and takes with it the sun. A definite whole mood indeed!
Neil Gaiman’s Autumn Leaves Us Feeling Swept Up by the Wonder of the Stars
“There was no moon but the night sky was a riot of crisp and glittering autumn stars.Neil Gaiman, Neverwhere
Where Shelley leaves us cheerless and in the grips of loneliness, Gaiman leaves us in awe, marveling at the clarity of the stars. In his autumn, there’s wonder and tranquility, bringing about a pleasant flutter that resonates in all of us when we gaze up at a perfectly clear nighttime sky. Quite the magical mood.
Daphne Du Maurier’s Autumn Leaves Us Hurried, Whiplashed, and Flustered to Go Before the First Leaf-fall
“Make haste, make speed, hurry and begone; yet where, and to what purpose? The restless urge of autumn, unsatisfying, sad, had put a spell upon them and they must flock, and wheel, and cry; they must spill themselves of motion before winter came.”-Daphne Du Maurier, The Birds and Other Stories
du Maurier definitely leaves you in a dizzying head spin and ready to hop up and go along with the birds — anywhere! There’s an urging voice you can almost hear while reading. Your feet itch to get where you need to go and fast. The weather is changing, but we’re not staying to see the leaves change color or the air turn cold. We must “Make haste, make speed, hurry and begone…”
Toni Morrison’s Autumn Tugs At Us to Stay, to See the Spirit of Life
“So when I think of autumn, I think of somebody with hands who does not want me to die.”-Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye
The spirit of life that Morrison’s quote makes us feel is utterly and succinctly beautiful. Seeing Autumn as hands that show its vulnerable side as it pleads with us to stay is, quite frankly, a nice way to view the season. Maybe it’s a moment we’re missing or a notion we must learn to grasp. Maybe it’s the idea that all things must fall away at some point.
Stephen King’s Autumn Reminds Us of an Old Friend, Who Wraps Us in Warmth and Asks Us to Stay a While Longer
“But when fall comes, kicking summer out on its treacherous ass as it always does one day sometime after the midpoint of September, it stays awhile like an old friend that you have missed. It settles in the way an old friend will settle into your favorite chair and take out his pipe and light it and then fill the afternoon with stories of places he has been and things he has done since the last time he saw you.“-Stephen King, Salem’s Lot
Coming full circle, King renews our friendship with autumn. It’s been some time, we’ve grown, and so we see the season as an old friend we get a chance to spend time with again. And it is rather endearing to know that in the grey and decay, there’s a sense of calm, beauty, and warmth to create a nostalgic mood, a memory we’ll keep until we meet again.
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