Autumn Begins in Martins Ferry, Ohio

James Wright

 
In the Shreve High football stadium,
I think of Polacks nursing long beers in Tiltonsville,
And gray faces of Negroes in the blast furnace at Benwood,
And the ruptured night watchman of Wheeling Steel,
Dreaming of heroes.
All the proud fathers are ashamed to go home.
Their women cluck like starved pullets,
Dying for love.
Therefore,
Their sons grow suicidally beautiful
At the beginning of October,
And gallop terribly against each other's bodies.
 
From The Branch Will Not Break by James Wright, published by Wesleyan University Press. Copyright © 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963 James Wright. Used with permission.

Poems by This Author

A Blessing by James Wright
Just off the highway to Rochester, Minnesota
As I Step Over a Puddle at the End of Winter, I Think of an Ancient Chinese Governor by James Wright
Living by the Red River by James Wright
Lying in a Hammock at William Duffy's Farm in Pine Island, Minnesota by James Wright
Northern Pike by James Wright
All right. Try this,
On the Skeleton of a Hound by James Wright
Nightfall, that saw the morning-glories float
The Secret of Light by James Wright
I am sitting contented and alone in a little park near the Palazzo Scaligere...
To the Saguaro Cactus Tree in the Desert Rain by James Wright
I had no idea the elf owl


Further Reading

Poems for Autumn
Not Merely Because of the Unknown That Was Stalking Toward Them [But the rocking chair]
by Jenny Boully
After Apple-Picking
by Robert Frost
Autumn
by Richard Garcia
Autumn
by Amy Lowell
Autumn
by T. E. Hulme
Autumn Evening
by David Lehman
Autumn Grasses
by Margaret Gibson
Autumn Movement
by Carl Sandburg
Fall
by Edward Hirsch
Fall Parties
by Becca Klaver
Home
by Bruce Weigl
Lament of the Middle Man
by Jay Parini
Late Autumn Wasp
by James Hoch
Leaves
by Lloyd Schwartz
Mnemosyne
by Trumbull Stickney
November
by William Cullen Bryant
November Night
by Adelaide Crapsey
October
by Robert Frost
Ode to the West Wind
by Percy Bysshe Shelley
Spring and Fall
by Gerard Manley Hopkins
That time of year thou mayst in me behold (Sonnet 73)
by William Shakespeare
The Magpie's Shadow
by Yvor Winters
The Plain Sense of Things
by Wallace Stevens
The Widening Spell of the Leaves
by Larry Levis
The Wild Swans at Coole
by W. B. Yeats
To Autumn
by William Blake
To Autumn
by John Keats
Under the Harvest Moon
by Carl Sandburg
When Autumn Came
by Faiz Ahmed Faiz
Poems about Beginning
At the Very Beginning
by Katie Peterson
Ephemeral Stream
by Elizabeth Willis
How to Read a Poem: Beginner's Manual
by Pamela Spiro Wagner
In the Beginning
by Anne Pierson Wiese
It Was The Beginning Of Joy And The End Of Pain
by Gillian Conoley
Or to Begin Again
by Ann Lauterbach
Poem Beginning with a Line by John Ashbery
by Randall Mann
The Rider
by Naomi Shihab Nye
You Begin
by Margaret Atwood
Poems About Sports
A Boy Juggling a Soccer Ball
by Christopher Merrill
After Skate
by Carol Muske-Dukes
Baseball and Writing
by Marianne Moore
Casey at the Bat
by Ernest Lawrence Thayer
Days of Me
by Stuart Dischell
Fishing on the Susquehanna in July
by Billy Collins
Night Baseball
by Michael Blumenthal
Séance at Tennis
by Dana Goodyear
Tackle Football
by Dan Chiasson
The Bee
by James Dickey
The First Olympic Ode [excerpt]
by Pindar
The Trouble Ball [excerpt]
by Martín Espada
To An Athlete Dying Young
by A. E. Housman
Train-Mates
by Witter Bynner