Poetry Friday: Autumn Afternoon

Spending time at the beach in September is one of my great joys. So this week, with the temperature and humidity down, I took a drive to Cape May, New Jersey for the day. As luck would have it, I came across a poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay on the morning of my little sojourn that captured the excitement of what I was feeling.

Afternoon on a Hill
by Edna St. Vincent Millay

I will be the gladdest thing
    Under the sun!
I will touch a hundred flowers
    And not pick one.

I will look at cliffs and clouds
    With quiet eyes,
Watch the wind bow down the grass,
    And the grass rise.

And when lights begin to show
    Up from the town,
I will mark which must be mine,
    And then start down!

I borrowed the first line and wrote a poem in the style of “Afternoon on a Hill”:

Autumn Afternoon in Cape May
(In the style of Edna St. Vincent Millay’s “Afternoon on a Hill”

I will be the gladdest thing under the sun!
My joy will be nonstop!
I will walk each cobbled pathway,
peek into every shop.

I will wander on the shoreline,
let my thoughts run free.
I will watch the waves go out, come in
bringing treasures from the sea.

And when the light begins to fade,
when I must depart,
I’ll tuck the memory of this day
deep within my heart.

Draft, 2022 Rose Cappelli


You can read more about Cape May from Carol at Beyond Literacy Link, who vacationed there in August. And don’t miss the Poetry Friday Roundup here where Kat shares what’s been going on in her busy life down under, plus lots more poetry fun.

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12 Responses to Poetry Friday: Autumn Afternoon

  1. katswhiskers says:

    How gorgeous – to touch a hundred flowers and not pick one. (Did you peek in every shop, and not buy one? 🙃) It’s spring here. Still a little blustery on the beach – but it won’t be long before it will be warm enough to swim again.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. cvarsalona says:

    Rose, thanks for bringing me back to the pristine beaches of Cape May. When the sun shines there, peace is in the air. Your poem is filled with memories so I am so glad that you enjoyed September in one of my favorite beaches. Thank you, also for mentioning my blog post about this quaint town.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. jama says:

    Nice job!! I enjoyed reading about your special time at Cape May. Millay is always a treat too.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. margaretsmn says:

    I love how you have adapted this form to your own sojourn. When I write beside an accomplished poet, I feel more confident. I love the imagery of this line, “I will watch the waves go out, come in
    bringing treasures from the sea.”

    Liked by 1 person

  5. That is lovely, Rose. That cobbled pathway… And what a great example of using a poem as a mentor text :>)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. lindabaie says:

    Oh, I am jealous that you can drive to the sea, Rose. Millay’s poem is lovely but knowing you were there and then wrote this wonderful capture of your own time is precious. Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I like your ESVM-inspired poem so much! I’ve long wanted to visit Cape May.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Linda Mitchell says:

    Spectacular! I can feel the joy of peeking in shops and soaking up the sun. Wish I could go there right now.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. maryleehahn says:

    Lovely! I’m not a beach person, but you made it sound so enticing!!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. macrush53 says:

    What a beautiful place and your poem captures it wonderfully.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. You nailed it, Rose. “I will touch a hundred flowers/And not pick one” is such a gorgeous line, too. I may have to try this line for our Nevermores prompt this week.

    Liked by 1 person

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