October 27, 2011

"Nothing Gold Can Stay"

Nature's first green is gold
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

This is the perfect time of year, when the last yellows in the landscape drop away, to think of the clear simplicity of Robert Frost's marvelous poem, which belies a rich complexity; just as "dawn goes down to day", the golden promise gives way to a light of different character; life more ordinary, but still a green leaf; life that includes death.


  1. It is funny that I once did a painting called "only the yellow stays..."

  2. ah, Debbie, the opposite of Frost's thought. Yours is a nice title too.

  3. Hi Altoon,

    The photograph of the golden yellow leaves creates such an exquisite sensation; joyful and poignant exactly because it cannot last. Thanks for Frost poem this morning!

  4. Thanks for the Frost poem. Our ginkgo was golden this morning which means it will probably be bare tomorrow.