Autumn’s So Sweet and Melancholy…

to autumn“Why is it so melancholy?”

“It’s the end of the year. It’s dying. August is the saddest but”

“No, October is the saddest. August is a party before it all ends.”

“October is the party: Halloween. It’s about midway between the end of summer the longest night of the year.”

“It’s like when I go outside I’m like, oh. And I go back inside.”

I had this conversation with Matthew. Guess who said what.

Autumn’s so sweet and full of tristesse, it’s almost frightening. Who would want to celebrate right now? That’s why we do. It’s a wild time of preparation, before it really slows down during midwinter and we’re really afraid to leave the house. Where are the songs of spring? Ay, where are they? Gone, and unlamented. We have a weekend ahead of macabre dances and embittered punch, false hurrahs and tottering clowns, equidistant from summer’s sweet end to winter’s black milky pitch, this is the time to wake early and look at the red-blear’d sun and face the wind, which quickly falls and dies, or rises again, undisguised, kicking up leaves, how can we stay alive? We have one more weekend to party and feel the year’s pride. Then it’s time to stay inside.



By Daniel Ryan Adler

Daniel Adler writes fiction and nonfiction and is finishing his MFA at University of South Carolina.


  1. Au contraire. You can go cross-country skiing and have an incredible winter experience. I met a 75 year old skiier in Canada years ago. He lived in the mountains with his wife and skiied (cross country) every day. He loved winter and in the winter of his life, it loved him. Love, L

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