PF detail from Pierre-Auguste Renoir - Beach Scene, Guernsey (Children by the Sea in Guernsey) - 1883;


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Last updated:
October 2009

  Pirene's Fountain

A Journal of Poetry

In the lore of Greek myths, naiad Pirene was grief-stricken by the death of her son, Cenchrias. She dissolved into a fountain of tears outside the gates of Corinth. It was said the essence of a naiad was tied to her spring; she could no longer exist if the spring dried up, as is often the case with inspiration and poetry. Pirene’s fountain was one of three springs associated with Pegasus, and was sacred to the muses, who drank of the waters for fresh inspiration.

At Pirene’s Fountain, it is our hope that we can share of each other’s knowledge, and in the spirit of Ancora Imparo –“ I am still learning,” open our hearts and minds to inspiration.

               "October's poplars are flaming torches lighting the way to winter."  Nova Bair

As the green tints of earth bleed away, new colors paint the landscape. Earth begins its travel away from the warmth of the sun and prepares for winter in many parts of the world. Keats called it the “season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,” and Rilke wrote “Command the last fruits that they should be full; give them another two more southerly days, press them on to fulfillment and drive the last sweetness into the heavenly wine.”

The glorious beauty and maturity of earth’s bounty surrenders to winter, and people turn inward, both physically and intellectually. Autumn in poetry has often been associated with a sense of melancholic reflection.  A line from Sara Teasdale’s Arcturus in Autumn, “There in the thickening dark a wind-bent tree above me loosed its last leaves in flight…” underscores the restlessness present in our hearts and the world outside. This season has moved many writers to express the dichotomy that makes it irresistible to art—the juxtaposition of light and dark, joy and sorrow, life and death.


Claude Monet--Varengeville Church


Again the wind
flakes gold-leaf from the trees
and the painting darkens—
as if a thousand penitents
kissed an icon
till it thinned
back to bare wood,
without diminishment.

Jane Hirshfield

From : The October Palace,
Harper Collins, 1994

"Autumn is a second spring when every leaf's a flower."

                                                                           ~Albert Camus

"Especially when the October wind
With frosty fingers punishes my hair,
Caught by the crabbing sun I walk on fire
And cast a shadow crab upon the land,
By the sea's side, hearing the noise of birds,
Hearing the raven cough in winter sticks,
My busy heart who shudders as she talks
Sheds the syllabic blood and drains her words."

Dylan Thomas, Especially When the October Wind

Claude Monet--Seine at Bougival, Evening

"Autumn is marching on: even the scarecrows are wearing dead leaves."

                                                                                                 ~Otsuyu Nakagawa

Pierre Auguste Renoir--Duck Pond

(Pont de Neuilly)

The Seine flows out of the mist
and into the mist again;
The trees lean over the water,
The small leaves fall like rain.

The leaves fall patiently,
nothing remembers or grieves;
the river takes to the sea
the yellow drift of the leaves.

Milky and cold is the air,
the leaves float with the stream,
the river comes out of a sleep
and goes away in a dream.

Sara Teasdale