The Beauty of November

While November is filled with hot chocolate, colorful leaves, and delicious food filled Thanksgiving, I am still not very fond of the cold weather or the imminent arrival of snow soon to start falling. While I love the upcoming holidays, quality time with my family, lighting the fireplace, and enjoying the warm colored scenery on my drive home, the whistling of the winter wind in the middle of the night still creeps me out.

After discovering Edna St. Vincent Millay’s poem “When the Year Grows Old,” I instantly connected to the depiction of the love/hate relationship with November. The speaker states, “I cannot but remember / when the year grows old—October—November / how she disliked the cold! / She used to watch the swallows / go down across the sky, / and turn from the window / with a little sharp sigh.” I too often find myself distracted by the falling leaves when I sit near the window in an attempt to finish my homework. It also amazes me every year to watch swarms of swallows fly across the sky in their winter migration; it is beautiful to watch how all the birds unite and fly away from the bitter cold together each year.

In Edna St. Vincent Millay’s poem “When the Year Grows Old,” the speaker states, “the roaring of the fire / and the warmth of fur / and the boiling of the kettle / were beautiful to her! / I cannot but remember… / how she disliked the cold!” I realized that Millay’s poem emphasizes the beauty contained within the changes occurring in November. While I have learned to appreciate the beauty of November with lit up fireplaces, warm drinks, delicious food, and the images of flying red and orange leaves…I still don’t like the winter chill. Edna St. Vincent Millay’s poem “When the Year Grows Old” reminded me that I am not the one who appreciates the beauty of winter, while still detesting the cold.

~Arlinda Mulosmanaj


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