"The Tree of Crows" by Caspar David FriedrichOn Seasonal Affective Disorder: ‘October Leaves’ by Richard Lackman The Society October 23, 2021 Beauty, Culture, Poetry 8 Comments . As I look out upon October leaves And brown grass weathered by the autumn sun, I see the shafts of light a bare branch cleaves And so much of creation now undone. I feel the sorrow of a world defeated And wonder if my life reflects the same Cycle of life’s consciousness depleted; Like a picture that has fallen from its frame I bare my heart to painful introspection Regarding simple pleasures never found. Like finding images of one’s reflection In a fleeting pool of water ever bound. Where now are all the promises of spring That light and warmth and flowers would repair? What now do winter wind and shadows bring But dour images and dark despair? And yet as I recall from years gone by, That following the darkness and the cold, If I can my own darker moods defy Will then the flowers of spring at last unfold. And so it goes and so my life repeats The cycles of the seasons in my mind. And so my memory at last deletes The darker side of life I often find. . Poet’s Note: This is a poem about seasonal affective disorder and the depression and despair that many experience going into winter. . . Richard Lackman is an orthopaedic cancer surgeon and poet. NOTE TO READERS: If you enjoyed this poem or other content, please consider making a donation to the Society of Classical Poets. The Society of Classical Poets does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or comments. CODEC News:Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) 8 Responses Dave Etchell October 23, 2021 the last line of Shelly’s Ode to the West Wind springs to mind. I used to suffer terribly from SAD a few years ago I found out that high vitamin A and D dosage during Dec /Jan cured it. Reply David Paul Behrens October 23, 2021 With so many great things so say about this poem, I will limit it to a couple: It’s a great poem and I love it! Reply Joe Spring October 23, 2021 Thank you for writing and sharing this, Mr Lackman. “the sorrow of a world defeated” – I love this line. Reply Cheryl Corey October 23, 2021 How timely. Just this morning, before I got out of bed, I wondered what it would be like to hibernate for a few months. Reply Paul Erlandson October 23, 2021 Thank you Mr. Lackman … I REALLY identify with this poem! I feel it so deeply. Before I got sober, this was exactly the time of year I began to drink more heavily. Reply Joseph S. Salemi October 23, 2021 In the fifth quatrain, the word “dower” is incorrect. It should be “dour” (same pronunciation). “Dower” is a legal term meaning the survival benefits of a widow. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant October 23, 2021 Mr. Lackman, your delicate and beautifully woven poem reminds me of those dark, chill winter months in the UK (my homeland). “I see the shafts of light a bare branch cleaves/And so much of creation now undone.” is a perfect poetic depiction of those barren, dormant months. Your wonderful closing stanza reminds me of Wordsworth in “vacant and pensive mood” recalling those dancing daffodils in “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud”. A magnificent poem! Reply Cynthia Erlandson October 25, 2021 I agree that this is a beautiful and poignant poem! I love October, and am mostly able to focus on the bright beautiful leaves; but beneath the surface I know it is such a poignant time of year partly because the very beauty is telling us that this is the last gasp of loveliness before the winter starts “defeating” us. My favorite lines are the two that Susan quoted above. Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. Δ This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.