Early October traded the warm sunshine of summer for the brisk winds of fall, and nothing is more comforting to us bookworms than a cozy read to face the incoming frigid cold. There is nothing more picturesque and romantic than poetry in the fall or any season for that matter. There is poetry itself in the seasonal transition into fall with the changing hues of leaves and our eagerness to welcome the warmth amidst the cooling temperatures through a cup of tea. These are three quick poetry collections that everyone must include in their fall reading lists!
There are many“To a man who used to visit secretly but asked to come now in daylight” by Izumi Shikibu from The Ink Dark Moon
strange and lovely things
that swim in the midnight tide pools . . .
I think I do not want to share them
with other divers’ eyes by day.
From the Heian court of imperial Japan, Ono no Komachi and Izumi Shikibu draw a complicated web of sensuality and carnal romance while ruminating their positions in their inner and outer spiritual worlds. The Ink Dark Moon, translated by Jane Hirshfield and Mariko Aratani, is a stunningly dark and commanding collection of poetry from two accomplished women that candidly spoke of their desires and dalliances and positioned themselves as leading literary figures of the Heian court. The poetry in the collection is both wonderfully shrewd in its astute awareness of interpersonal relationships and impossibly gentle in its deliverance of intangible thoughts concerning the divine.
When Eve walked among“A Name,” from The Carrying by Ada Limón
the animals and named them—
nightingale, red-shouldered hawk,
fiddler crab, fallow deer—
I wonder if she ever wanted
them to speak back, looked into
their wide wonderful eyes and
whispered, Name me, name me.
This next poetry collection recommendation is a must if one should ever only read one collection by Ada Limón (which isn’t possible when it comes to Limón, you must simply read them all). The Carrying by Limón is a collection that is introspective and is frankly about “carrying”—the carrying of emotions and the physical/metaphysical objects that come through us interpersonally or by external forces like society and culture. When reading the poetry collection, you understand that she is inquisitive about what particularly defines herself within womanhood.
A spell cast with the entire
mouth. Back of the throat
to teeth. Tomorrow means I might
have her forever. Yesterday means“Kal,” from If They Come for Us: Poems by Fatimah Asghar
I say goodbye again.
Kal means they are the same.
One of my newest reads, If They Come for Us: Poems is a recommendation from BookTok user, @thatgirltas (South Asian BookTok). If They Come for Us: Poems by Fatimah Asghar is a poetry collection that when reading, I was instantly absorbed into. A debut collection, Asghar is impressive and assertive about her thoughts and the things that matter to her. She is concerned with the trauma caused by Partition, her identity as a Pakistani Muslim woman living in white America, and the political and social bodies that affect diaspora. She is both poignant and masterful about language and form in poetry and a complete must-read!
I hope these few poetry collections will fall into your reading list this season. For more poetry recommendations, click here and here. For a fall reading list, here is a list of some fantastic ones as well.