Tom's Reviews > Autumnal Tints

Autumnal Tints by Henry David Thoreau
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's review
Oct 31, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: essays, natural-history

Every fall, my partner and I pick a crisp sunny day to sit in her back yard, a pair of golden maple trees rising above us, the Blue Ridge Mountains visible on the horizon, and read aloud to each to each other from Thoreau's marvelous essay, "Autumnal Tints." I especially like the section "Fallen Leaves": "How many flutterings before they rest quietly in their graves!They that soared so loftily, how contentedly they return to the dust again, and are laid low, resigned to lie and decay at the foot of the tree, and afford nourishment to new generations of their kind, as well as to flutter on high! They teach us how to die. One wonders if the time will ever come when men, with their boasted faith in immortality, will lie down as gracefully and as ripe, -- with such an Indian-summer serenity will shed their bodies, as they do their hair and nails."
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Tom, I want to read this! Is it included in a collection or always published separately?

message 2: by Tom (last edited Nov 01, 2009 07:26AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tom Hi Barbara, AT is generally included in most collections of T's essays. I first came across it in Library of America edition, but I'm sure you can find it in pb collections. This one is the only stand-alone edition I know of. Enjoy; it is a real treat, especially when read loud. When contemplating T. the naturalist, it's easy to overlook what a lyrical writer he is. (ironically, though, I find his poetry pretty bad!)

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