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Richard Blanco on Boston Public Radio | Oct. 15, 2018

Poems About Fall 'In All Its Sadness And Glory'

Fall Foliage Forecast
In this Sept. 17, 2010 file photo, a maple tree shows its fall colors in Woodstock, Maine.
Robert F. Bukaty/AP
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Richard Blanco on Boston Public Radio | Oct. 15, 2018

In the latest installment of "Village Voice" — Boston Public Radio's recurring conversation about how poetry can help us better understand the news of the day — poet Richard Blanco shared poems about fall.

"I was trying to avoid the cliché, cheesy 'pretty leaf' poem," said Blanco, who is the nation's fifth inaugural poet and author of the collection "Boundaries" with photographer Jacob Hessler.

Instead, Blanco shared poems that seize on the changing of the seasons as an opportunity to reflect on death, rebirth, and the passage of time.

"That's what these poems are doing: they're getting you to see the beautiful part of fall in all its sadness and glory," he explained.

In "First Fall" by Maggie Smith, for example, the poem's narrator contemplates mortality as she walks her newborn baby around a park full of falling leaves.

"That's what I love about this poem, this contrast of fall and things withering away and this new life in her hands," Blanco said.

Follow along with the poems discussed, in order:

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