Nature’s Last Gold is Green: Autumn Tribute to Frost

Nature’s Last Gold is Green: Autumn Tribute to Frost November 10, 2017

Autumn Tribute to Frost

“Nothing Gold Can Stay” by Robert Frost is one of my favorite poems.  I first heard of it from the book The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton.  In the movie version of the story, the main character, Ponyboy, recites the poem in a beautiful moment of tranquility at dawn by a country church.  The poignancy and the pathos of the verses haunted me.  I, too, committed the poem to memory.

One autumn afternoon as I was walking a wooded path marveling at the gorgeous array of sunset-colored leaves, a variation of Frost’s poem formed in my mind.  My version attempts to both mirror Frost’s form, while bringing the seasons and life cycle full circle.

[The pictures here are from my recent trip to Pine Mountain in Kentucky, at Blanton Forest, an old-growth forest preserved by Kentucky Natural Land Trust. Watch this 10-second video before reading the poem.]


“Nature’s Last Gold is Green”

by Leah D. Schade
Nature’s last gold is green
Her secret hue unseen
Her final leaf to feed
The coming season’s seed.
As leaf subsides to leaf,
So Easter springs from grief.
Then dusk foretells new day:
Hope from gold’s decay.
Nature's Last Gold is Green. Photo by Leah D. Schade All rights reserved. Blanton Forest Preserve Pine Mountain, Kentucky
Nature’s Last Gold is Green. Photo by Leah D. Schade All rights reserved.
Blanton Forest Preserve, Pine Mountain, Kentucky

Frost’s Original Poem:

Nothing Gold Can Stay
Nature’s first green is gold
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
   — Robert Frost

Leah Schade, Blanton Forest, Kentucky

Leah D. Schade is the Assistant Professor of Preaching and Worship at Lexington Theological Seminary (Kentucky) and author of the book Creation-Crisis Preaching: Ecology, Theology, and the Pulpit (Chalice Press, 2015).

Twitter: @LeahSchade


Read more of Leah’s poems:

Black Raspberries: A Summer Poem

315 Today – A Poem about Gun Violence

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