Poetry Project October – Spooky poems!

October is here! There’s a chill in the air, though the days are still warm. I have two tiny pumpkins sitting on my table, reminding me that October is here. October happens to be my favorite month. When I was younger, school was still exciting and new, the weather is getting cooler and the leaves are changing. I always loved when the leaves would fall and my great-grandfather would rake them up into a pile and I would dive in with my dog again and again.

Now that I’m older, October is the end of a busy summer. It’s the time when I can finally relax and enjoy the season. I can start to wear tights and bake things and really enjoy stew and all the foods I love best. Sure, I love watermelon and fresh corn on the cob, but give me a hearty stew or a roasted butternut squash soup any day. It’s also one of my favorite times of the year to read, with spooky stories. And let’s not forget the yearly viewing of Hocus Pocus. A completely necessary tradition.

But we’re not here to talk about all those things, we’re here to talk about the best thing about this October: spooky poetry for The Poetry Project. Whether you want to go with a classic Edgar Allen Poe poem or you want to branch out and see what contemporary spooky poetry is like, this is your chance!

There are several great resources for spooky poetry:

Poems tagged “Halloween” at the Poetry Foundation
Poems tagged “Halloween” by the Academy of American Poets
A digital collection of poetry by Edgar Allen Poe

But other than spooky poems, there are also a lot of poems written about October and fall. I hope you’ll read some of those as well. This is a good time to completely immerse yourself in the season. Enjoy the cooler air. Take a poem with you. Then, tell us about it and sign up with the Mr. Linky below. Here’s one to get started:

October by Robert Frost

O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
Tomorrow’s wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.
The crows above the forest call;
Tomorrow they may form and go.
O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow.
Make the day seem to us less brief.
Hearts not averse to being beguiled,
Beguile us in the way you know.
Release one leaf at break of day;
At noon release another leaf;
One from our trees, one far away.
Retard the sun with gentle mist;
Enchant the land with amethyst.
Slow, slow!
For the grapes’ sake, if they were all,
Whose leaves already are burnt with frost,
Whose clustered fruit must else be lost—
For the grapes’ sake along the wall.

Readers Imbibing Peril VII

I don’t know that Carl of Stainless Steel Droppings and I have really interacted much, but his blog has been a constant presence for me as a book blogger, even if I don’t comment on it as much as I should (true of all blogs I read regularly). The two “challenges” that Carl hosts throughout the year have been a mainstay of book blogging since I began this adventure over 4 years ago, but I haven’t really participated successfully since my first year blogging for RIP IV. Started from the beginning. Made a reading list. Stuck to it (more or less). This year, I’d like to change that. This is the year that I make RIP VII a priority. I will read spooky, chilling, exciting stories throughout September and October.

I have to admit, seeing the buttons for RIP VII every year gets me excited for fall. For coats and cider and leaves and a chill in the air (but just a chill!). Fall always feels like a new beginning in the way that spring and summer do not. Perhaps it is just a left over remnant from when I was in school, this idea that you could start over, just like you do on January 1st, and be a completely different person this year, if you wanted. This year,  I hope to do just that by participating fully in RIP VII. I’ll be participating at Peril The First, with a goal of reading 4 books!


Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

I am thinking of doing a casual readalong of these two books. Something Wicked This Way Comes is a book I read for RIP IV and it is one that has stuck with me. After reading The Night Circus this past winter, I noticed that Morgenstern was heavily influenced by Something Wicked. I want to read these two books one after the other, because I think they will speak to each other well. If you’re interested in joining me, let me know in the comments. I might do a more formal announcement later in the month.

New Reads

The Likeness by Tana French – I read In the Woods and it made me quite angry, but everyone keeps telling me to read her other books. So read her other books I shall!

Affinity by Sarah Waters – The group read for RIP VII is The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters, which I read when it first came out. Instead of rereading that title, I’m going to read another book by Sarah Waters that I haven’t read yetI’m very excited for this one!

Seance by John Harwood – I read The Ghost Writer and I didn’t love it, but I bought this one recently and I am going to give John Harwood another try. (See a theme, here?)

Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil by John Berendt – I totally stole this from Stephanie’s RIP V post! I have never read this book, though I have seen the movie. I’d like to read the book and rewatch the movie.

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson – This was on my RIP IV list and I never got around to reading it. I absolutely loved We Have Always Lived in the Castle and I’m excited to read another book by Jackson. It was recommended to me by the lovely She, whom I miss terribly. We used to be roommates, see, and now she lives so very far away!

And finally, The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman – This is the RIP group read for October. I’m both excited about the group read, and nervous, because I don’t have the best track record with Neil Gaiman’s books.


Poetry Wednesday – Stanley Kunitz

End of Summer
by Stanley Kunitz

An agitation of the air,

A perturbation of the light
Admonished me the unloved year
Would turn on its hinge that night.
I stood in the disenchanted field
Amid the stubble and the stones,
Amazed, while a small worm lisped to me
The song of my marrow-bones.
Blue poured into summer blue,
A hawk broke from his cloudless tower,
The roof of the silo blazed, and I knew
That part of my life was over.
Already the iron door of the north
Clangs open: birds, leaves, snows
Order their populations forth,
And a cruel wind blows.
“The song of my marrow-bones” is beautiful.