Edwina’s September poem.

I only discovered this poem a few years ago. Being short and packed with autumnal images, it is perfect for a busy time of year, when you don’t want to let the equinox pass unnoticed, but you are canning tomatoes or drying figs or just taking all the walks you can in the crisp air. If you don’t pay attention to the calendar or the TV, you might miss the day.

For months and years I’ve been trying off and on to confirm that its author is Edwina Hume Fallis. New things show up on Internet searches all the time, and today I have seen enough sites that are confident about attributing it to her that I will accept it. Two months ago I couldn’t find two postings of the poem where her name was even spelled right. Most places it is shared as by “Anonymous.”

In the city of Denver, Colorado, Edwina Hume Fallis is especially famous, for her teaching and writing, a toy shop she owned, and her book When Denver and I Were Young. (I did recently contact the Denver public library to see if they had a copy of the poem below in their collection about her; they did not.) She and her sister made toys to use as props in telling stories to kindergarten students, and she did write over 100 poems; maybe this one was in an anthology that is now out of print. Many women bloggers seem to have memorized it in elementary school.

I wonder if any of my readers in the Southern Hemisphere knows of a similar poem that applies to the opposite seasons down there?


A road like brown ribbon,
A sky that is blue
A forest of green with that sky peeping through.
Asters deep purple,
A grasshopper’s call –
Today, it is Summer
Tomorrow is Fall!

-Edwina Hume Fallis

At Pippin’s in 2017, waiting for the aspens to turn.

14 thoughts on “Edwina’s September poem.

  1. We do not have a dramatic change between any of the seasons in South Africa: one season segues into the next until we realise there is more / less sunshine; the days are hotter / colder; the nights are pleasant / uncomfortably cold. During the current long drought there is not even a show of spring flowers – except along the West Coast, where the blooming of the Namaqualand daisies draw hundreds of tourists annually.

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  2. This sweet little poem is new to me but how perfectly your picture illustrated it. It and the poem should be on Pinterest where I could add it to my autumn board. There is something about all the little September, October, and November lines of fall enchantment that are like water for a thirsty soul at the end of summer. I never get tired of the ones I see over and over this time of year. And asters, every September I think why didn’t we plant some?

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  3. Delightful poem! I think I’ll have the kids learn it this week. 🙂 Our backyard is full of grasshoppers and bachelor buttons. The predicted rain did come, two night in a row! The skies lost their brown shadow and are blue and clean once again. The final days of pleasant outside weather begin!

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    1. I’m so glad that the clean air blew in to your neck of the woods!! That might happen here again this week. I will appreciate Fall much more than I did last year, especially if the air is clean. Once last week our AQI was a glorious 1.

      That poem I learned from a teacher in a very small Christian school that is not in operation anymore. Her students learned it without knowing the name of the poet. It’s perfect for children, I think!


  4. So good. It seems like other people lifted a few lines for their own poems and prose, so maybe that’s why the attribution gets fuzzy. I like the brown ribbon image. What does a grasshopper’s call sound like?


  5. This poem has had a great impact on my life… I have always loved the autumn and I remembered the poem throughout the years. It actually prompted me to contact my long retired 3rd grade teacher who had taught it to us. After the initial phone call I visited her frequently and brought her homemade cookies… She was then (1979 )95 years old. It all began for me in
    1963 when I learned this poem in my 3rd grade class with Miss Barsheid, Fort Stanwix school in Rome New York… The original name of the poem by Edwina Fallis was ‘ The September Song‘ .. it paints such a vivid picture doesn’t it? I taught it to both my children as they were growing up and still send them a copy every fall now that they are adults… she taught us other poems as well that I still remember to this day but this is still my favorite…

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