How suddenly the woods have turned again. I feel like Daphne, standing with my arms outstretch to the season, overtaken by color, crowned with the hammered gold of leaves.
Linda Pastan (1932-2023) was an American poet. She was born in New York, but lived most of her life in Potomac, Michigan. She is the author of over fifteen books of poetry and essays. Her poems are distinguished by quiet lyrics that explore the drama and depth of ordinary life. She has received many awards, including the Dylan Thomas award, a Pushcart Prize, the Bess Hokin Prize from Poetry, the Poetry Society of America's Alice Fay di Castagnola Award, and the Ruth Lily Poetry Prize. She served as Poet Laureate of Maryland from 1991 to 1995.
In this little poem, Linda expresses the exuberance of autumn in words that only the best poets are able to summon. A highlight of the poem is the mention of Daphne, a figure in Greek mythology who is associated with symbols of refreshment - fountains, wells, springs, and streams. Like Daphne, the poet feels refreshed by autumn, as a season crowned by the "hammered gold of leaves."