October Poem by Robert Frost Summary, Notes and Line by Line Explanation in English


October by Robert Frost is a pastoral poem dedicated to the month of October for its beauty and tenderness. The Fall seems to be enjoyed by the speaker of the poem as he directly interacts with the month of October in this poem requesting it to slow down. 

About the poet 

Robert Frost is considered as one of the best poets of the 20th century and is one of the most celebrated figures in American poetry. 


Line 1-4

O hushed October morning mild,

Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;

Tomorrow’s wind, if it be wild,

Should waste them all.

The poet starts the poem by describing the silent and mild morning in the month of October. He writes the poem as if he is having a conversation with October. He calls the month of October in the first line and interacts with it throughout the poem. 

The speaker in the next line proclaims how the leaves of the month have ripened away and can fall anytime by tomorrow’s wind. As the month of October is one of the months of the Fall season. Therefore, the falling of leaves is natural in this month. 

And if the wind is wild, it is capable of blowing away all the ripened leaves on the trees in the month of October. The leaves that will be blown away by the wind will go to waste according to the poet.  

Line 5-8

The crows above the forest call;

Tomorrow they may form and go.

O hushed October morning mild,

Begin the hours of this day slow.

The poet then talks about the birds of the month of October. He says how the crows that are settled above the trees in the forest caw today, as for tomorrow they might fly away. 

Usually, certain birds migrate during the fall season to pursue a surrounding with a temperature that is closest to their natural habitat. 

The speaker then again repeats the first line of the poem, calling the still and mild October morning to ask the month for a slow day. This tells the speaker wants to enjoy the day and will be grateful if it is started with slow hours.  

Line 9-11

Make the day seem to us less brief.

Hearts not averse to being beguiled,

Beguile us in the way you know.

The speaker continues to request the month of October to make the days less brief, ie. to make the days longer and slower. This will help the speaker to enjoy the end of the month. 

He then in the next lines tells how people love the month of October and the changes in weather it brings as the time passes by. He tells how their hearts like October’s deceptive charm. He says how people will like its deceptiveness if it comes in its own way. 

Line 12-14

Release one leaf at break of day;

At noon release another leaf;

One from our trees, one far away.

The speaker wants October to part away slowly by releasing its leaves one by one. One leaf at a time. One at the break of the day, another at noon. One from the trees near the speaker and one from far away. 

The speaker wants to enjoy this process of the falling of leaves. The changes that nature has to offer with different weathers appear to be of the poet’s liking. 

Line 15-21

Retard the sun with gentle mist;

Enchant the land with amethyst.

Slow, slow!

For the grapes’ sake, if they were all,

Whose leaves already are burnt with frost,

Whose clustered fruit must else be lost—

For the grapes’ sake along the wall.

The speaker now talks about the October dew that can fog up the sunlight with its gentle mist. In the next line the speaker asks October to “Enchant the land with amethyst”. 

Amethyst are crystals formed inside geodes that are often used in jewellery. These crystals are formed due to changes in nature.The poet wants the land to be blessed with these crystals which can be seen as a parting gift from October. 

The speaker asks October to slow down, not hurry to bless the land with amethyst for the sake of grapes. As their leaves are already frozen but if October doesn’t slow down, their fruits, ie. grapes will be lost. Therefore, he wants October to slow down to save the grapes on the wall.