Poetry Friday: “October”


In honor of my favorite month!

by John Updike

The month is amber,

Gold, and brown.

Blue ghosts of smoke

Float through the town.

Great V’s of geese

Honk overhead,

And maples turn

A fiery red.

Frost bites the lawn.

The stars are slits

In a black cat’s eye

Before she spits.

At last, small witches,

Goblins, hags,

And pirates armed

With paper bags,

Their costumes hinged

On safety pins,

Go haunt a night

Of pumpkin grins.


I found my copy of this book at a library book sale years ago, and it was immediately a favorite. Updike’s verses capture the essence of each month in terms children can still relate to, fifty years later. Maria Papova has written about this book and Trina Schart Hyman’s 1999 illustrations on Brain Pickings. There are also poems for several different months included in Papova’s post.

Please be sure to visit Heidi Mordhorst at My Juicy Little Universe for the Poetry Friday Round Up.

8 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: “October”

  1. Thank you for sharing John Updike’s poem about your favorite month. Given how warm it’s been, I was surprised to already have seen & heard, pre-October, “Great V’s of geese Honk overhead,” It’s a sign of Winter to come. Meanwhile, I’m in no hurry to rush through Fall. Every blessing!


  2. I saw this quote on FB — “My favorite color is October.” Perfect for the most perfect month of the year, eh?


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