The Quote Garden ™
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Quotations about November
Welcome to my page of quotations about the month of November. Here in the desert the weather is nearly always mild and beautiful during this entry to winter, and yet still it comes along with its dreariness and loneliness. But it's also a time of quiet, of contemplation, cuddling, comfort foods, family, and friends. And a great time to use the earlier nights for reading all the books you can get your hands on! Speaking of books, I hope you enjoy these quotations which I have much enjoyed harvesting and compiling over the years. —tεᖇᖇ¡·g
Spring's wakening bugle long is hushed,
Long dimm'd is Summer's splendour;
October yields her easel bright
To "black and white" November!
~James Rigg, "November," Wild Flower Lyrics and Other Poems, 1897
I have come to regard November as the older, harder man's October. I appreciate the early darkness and cooler temperatures. It puts my mind in a different place than October. It is a month for a quieter, slightly more subdued celebration of summer's death as winter tightens its grip. ~Henry Rollins, "Empowerment Through Libraries," November 2013, LA Weekly
How sad would be November if we had no knowledge of the spring! ~Edwin Way Teale, Circle of the Seasons, 1953
October's foliage yellows with his cold:
In rattling showers dark November's rain,
From every stormy cloud, descends amain,
Till keen December's snows close up the year again.
~John Ruskin, "The Months," c.1834
November, n. The eleventh twelfth of a weariness. ~ Ambrose Bierce (1842–c.1914), The Devil's Dictionary
The wild November comes at last
Beneath a veil of rain,
The night wind blows its folds aside—
Her face is full of pain.
The latest of her race, she takes
The Autumn's vacant throne;
She has but one short moon to live,
And she must live alone.
~R.H. Stoddard (1825–1903), "November," c.1863
A barren realm of withered fields,
Bleak woods, and falling leaves,
The palest morns that ever dawned;
The dreariest of eves.
It is no wonder that she comes,
Poor month! with tears of pain;
For what can one so hopeless do
But weep, and weep again.
~R.H. Stoddard (1825–1903), "November," c.1863
It was November — the month of crimson sunsets, parting birds, deep, sad hymns of the sea, passionate wind-songs in the pines. ~L. M. Montgomery, Anne of the Island, 1915
Fear not November's challenge bold—
We've books and friends,
And hearths that never can grow cold:
These make amends!
~Alexander L. Fraser (1870–1954), "November," c.1918
The world is tired, the year is old,
The faded leaves are glad to die...
~Sara Teasdale, "November"
That soft autumnal time...
The woodland foliage now
Is gathered by the wild November blast...
~John Howard Bryant (1807-1902), "The Indian Summer"
It was a wonderful November. We have had half a dozen such in a century. Thanksgiving Day was set in the very middle of Indian summer, and as for Indian summer it was like a great golden sunset. The leaves were not yet all off the apple trees, and the dandelions had come up to see what it was all about, and they made the ground golden where the maple grove kept off the west wind. The world seemed half inclined to skip winter for once, and to call up the hyacinths and waken the lilacs to blossom. And a big bunch of witch hazel bushes were blooming, as if they had forgotten themselves and lost track of the season. Truly one could not hold his happiness. ~Edward Payson Powell (1833–1915), "An Old-Time Thanksgiving," 1904 [a little altered —tg]
And November sad,—a psalm
Tender, trustful, full of balm,
Thou must breathe in spirits calm.
~Caroline May, 1887
Anne, sitting at her tower window one late November evening, with her pen at her lip and dreams in her eyes, looked out on a twilight world and suddenly thought she would like a walk to the old graveyard. She had never visited it yet, preferring the birch and maple grove or the harbor road for her evening rambles. But there is always a November space after the leaves have fallen when she felt it was almost indecent to intrude on the woods…for their glory terrestrial had departed and their glory celestial of spirit and purity and whiteness had not yet come upon them. ~Lucy Maud Montgomery (1874–1942), Anne of Windy Poplars, 1936
November woods are bare and still;
November days are clear and bright;
Each noon burns up the morning's chill;
The morning's snow is gone by night...
November woods are bare and still;
November days are bright and good;
Life's noon burns up life's morning chill;
Life's night rests feet which long have stood...
~Helen Fiske Hunt Jackson (1830–1885), "Down to Sleep."
Judith stood before her little library in the dark November dawn, with a candle in her hand, scanning the familiar titles with weary eyes.... these last few days she had taken to waking at dawn, to lying for hours wide-eyed in her little white bed, while the slow day grew. But to‑day it was intolerable, she could bear it no longer.... She would try a book; not a very hopeful remedy in her own opinion, but one which [those] who were troubled by sleeplessness, regarded, she knew, as the best thing under the circumstances. ~Amy Levy (1861–1889), Reuben Sachs: A Sketch, 1888
Cosy fire a-burning bright,—
Cosy tables robed in white,—
Dainty dishes smoking hot,—
Home! And cold and snow forgot!
~Louise Bennett Weaver and Helen Cowles LeCron, "November," A Thousand Ways to Please a Husband with Bettina's Best Recipes, 1917
Nature's heart is beating, beating, beating out the autumn! ~Sara L. Vickers Oberholtzer, "The Close of November," Violet Lee, and Other Poems, 1873
The bleak November winds, and smote the woods,
And the brown fields were herbless, and the shades,
That met above the merry rivulet,
Were spoil'd, I sought, I loved them still,—they seem'd
Like old companions in adversity.
~William Cullen Bryant, "A Winter Piece"
peering from some high
window;at the gold
of november sunset
(and feeling:that if day
has to become night
this is a beautiful way)
~E.E. Cummings (1894–1962) ["who are you,little i (five or six years old)" written at age sixty-seven —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]
"November is the most disagreeable month in the whole year," said Margaret, standing at the window one dull afternoon, looking out at the frost-bitten garden.
"That's the reason I was born in it," observed Jo pensively...
~Louisa May Alcott, Little Women, 1868
In rough October
Earth must disrobe her;
Stars fall and shoot
In keen November;
And night is long
And cold is strong
In bleak December.
~Christina G. Rossetti (1830–1894), Sing-Song: A Nursery Rhyme Book, 1872
We seldom think of November in terms of beauty or any other specially satisfying tribute. November is simply that interval between colorful October and dark December. Then, nearly every year, come a few November days of clear, crisp weather that make one wonder why November seldom gets its due.
There is the November sky, clean of summer dust, blown clear this day of the urban smog that so often hazes autumn...
There is the touch of November air, chill enough to have a slight tang, like properly aged cider. Not air that caresses, nor yet air that nips. Air that makes one breathe deeply and think of spring water and walk briskly. ~Hal Borland, "Bright November Day," November 1970
All Nature mourns, I said; November wild
Hath torn the fairest pages from her book.
~Albert Laighton (1829–1887), "In the Woods," c.1859
Some of the days in November carry the whole memory of summer as a fire opal carries the color of moonrise. These are the days I especially love, when the air lies soft and quiet over the dreaming earth; it is a reflective and thoughtful time. ~Gladys Taber, "November," Stillmeadow Daybook, 1955
Even when November's sun is low
And Winter flaps his fleecy wings,
Thy gold among his silvery snow
A solace in the sadness brings.
~James Rigg, "To the Corn Marigold," Wild Flower Lyrics and Other Poems, 1897
Fallen leaves lying on the grass in the November sun bring more happiness than daffodils. Spring is a call to action, hence to disillusion, therefore is April called "the cruellest month." Autumn is the mind's Spring; what is there we have, "quidquid promiserat annus," and it is more than we expected. ~Cyril Connolly, The Unquiet Grave, 1944 [Originally published under the pseudonym Palinurus. Translation of the Latin phrase: Before our eyes stood all the promise of the year. —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]
November gave her scented sprigs
Of Spruce and Larch and Pine...
~James Rigg, "The Progress of Queen Flora, Adorned by a Hundred Wild Flowers," Wild Flower Lyrics and Other Poems, 1897
The drifting clouds are dark and drear,
The blossoms die of cold and fear,
The wild wind mourns the fading year,
And winter threatens near.
~Elizabeth Chase Akers Allen (1832–1911), "November," c.1864
And November goes,
With the last red berries
And the first white snows.
With night coming early,
And dawn coming late,
And ice in the bucket
And frost by the gate.
The fires burn
And the kettles sing,
And earth sinks to rest
Until next spring.
~Elizabeth Coatsworth (1893–1986)
Autumn, I love thy parting look to view
In cold November's day, so bleak and bare,
When, thy life's dwindled thread worn nearly thro',
With ling'ring, pott'ring pace, and head bleach'd bare,
Thou, like an old man, bidd'st the world adieu...
~John Clare (1793–1864), Sonnet XLV, Written in November
In tattered gold
Tossing bits of amber
And jade, jewels of a year grown old:
~Zephyr Ware Tarver (1886–1974), "A Queen Makes an Exit," Arizona Highways, November 1971
November is usually such a disagreeable month…as if the year had suddenly found out that she was growing old and could do nothing but weep and fret over it. This year is growing old gracefully…just like a stately old lady who knows she can be charming even with gray hair and wrinkles. We've had lovely days and delicious twilights. This last fortnight has been so peaceful.... How quiet the woods are to‑day…not a murmur except that soft wind purring in the treetops! It sounds like surf on a faraway shore. ~Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Avonlea, 1909
So dull and dark are the November days,
The lazy mist high up the evening curled,
And now the morn quite hides in smokey haze:
The place we occupy seems all the world.
~John Clare (1793–1864), "November"
November sun is sunlight poured through honey:
Old things, in such a light, grow subtle and fine.
Bare oaks are like still fire...
~Conrad Aiken, "The Charnel Rose," 1915
The verse of autumntide is set to soberer measures than that of the other seasons. The evening of the year has come; and as the shadows draw closer with each successive month, the poetry of the season passes by slow degrees from the major key of early September to the sad minor or late November. ~Oscar Fay Adams, September, 1886
There is no color in the world,
No lovely tint on hill or plain;
The summer's golden sails are furled,
And sadly falls the autumn rain.
~Celia Laighton Thaxter (1835–1894), "November," c.1871
The Earth lies tacitly beneath,
As it were dead to joy or pain:
It does not move, it does not breathe...
And all my heart is patient too,
I wait till it shall wake again;
The songs of spring shall sound anew,
Though sadly falls the autumn rain.
~Celia Laighton Thaxter (1835–1894), "November," c.1871
The month of November makes me feel that life is passing more quickly. In an effort to slow it down, I try to fill the hours more meaningfully. ~Henry Rollins, "Empowerment Through Libraries," November 2013, LA Weekly
Dull November brings the blast,
Then the leaves are whirling fast...
~Sara Coleridge (1802–1852), "The Months"
Give me the suns of November days,
The speeding hours and the hast'ning shades;
Find me a wood, where the slanting rays
Engold the leaves in the maple glades.
~John Stuart Thomson, "In November," Estabelle and Other Verse, 1897
How cold it is! Even the lights are cold;
They have put shawls of fog around them, see!
....What a silver night!
~Sara Teasdale (1884–1933), "A November Night," c.1916
Hark you such sound as quivers? Kings will hear,
As kings have heard, and tremble on their thrones;
The old will feel the weight of mossy stones;
The young alone will laugh and scoff at fear...
Who fell, ah! long ago, in futile wars;
It is such sound as death; and, after all,
'T is but the forest letting dead leaves fall.
~Mahlon Leonard Fisher (1874–1947), "November," c.1917
The Mad-moon of the woods comes after the Falling-leaf moon. The time of erratic movement, of meaningless depressions, of hankerings that have no aim, and of passing madness. Few are the creatures that escape the weird impulses of the Mad (the November) moon. ~Ernest Thompson Seton, The Biography of a Silver-Fox, 1909
Shout now! The months, with loud acclaim,
Take up the cry and send it forth;
May, breathing, sweet her Spring perfumes,
November thundering from the North.
~J.K. Hoyt (1820–1895), "The Meeting of the Months," c.1882
It is... November. The noons are more laconic and the sundowns sterner... November always seemed to me the Norway of the year. ~Emily Dickinson, letter to sister, c.1864
The sun, this old November,
Across the sodden slope,
May bid the heart remember,
But cannot bid it hope.
~Philip Henry Savage (1868–1899), "November," Poems, 1898
The last days of November write their own pages. ~Keith Wynn, @untamed__dreamer, Instagram post
White snowdrop in November
I shall go now towards winter
my free soul flowering with harvests.
~Yves Préfontaine, "The Night of November 15, 1976," translated from the French by Judith Cowan (1993)
October extinguished itself in a rush of howling winds and driving rain and November arrived, cold as frozen iron, with hard frosts every morning and icy draughts that bit at exposed hands and faces. ~J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, "The Lion and the Serpent," 2003
My Sorrow, when she's here with me,
Thinks these dark days of autumn rain
Are beautiful as days can be...
The desolate, deserted trees,
The faded earth, the heavy sky...
Not yesterday I learned to know
The love of bare November days
Before the coming of the snow...
~Robert Frost, "My November Guest," A Boy's Will, 1913
November... leads the months their wintry round... ~Anne Hunter (1742–1821), "November, 1784"
I love to see the cottage smoke
Curl upwards through the trees,
The pigeons nestled round the cote
On November days like these...
~John Clare (1793–1864), "Autumn"
The quiet of October is refreshing
The quiet of November, oppressing
~Terri Guillemets, "How suddenly it turns," 2015
Snow noiseless sifts
Ere night, an icy shroud, which morning's rays
Will idly shine upon and slowly melt...
Bare are the places where the sweet flowers dwelt.
What joy sufficient hath November felt?
~Helen Fiske Hunt Jackson (1830–1885), "November"
Softly breathes the west wind beside the ruddy forest,
Taking leaf by leaf from the branches where he flies.
Sweetly streams the sunshine, this third day of November,
Through the golden haze of the quiet autumn skies...
Like this kindly season may life's decline come o'er me;
Past is manhood's summer, the frosty months are here;
Yet be genial airs and a pleasant sunshine left me,
Leaf, and fruit, and blossom, to mark the closing year.
~William Cullen Bryant, "The Third of November, 1861"
In high wind creaks the leafless tree
And nods the fading fern;
The knolls are dun as snow-clouds be,
And cold the sun does burn...
The tears arise unto my eyes,
And thoughts are chill and brown...
[H]o, folk, ho! though it is so
That we no more may roam,
We still will find a cheerful mind
Around the fire at home!
~C.L. Cleaveland, "November," in The Atlantic Monthly, November 1877
No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,
No comfortable feel in any member—
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds,
~Thomas Hood (1799–1845), "No!" [In the posthumously published (1852) Whimsicalities. —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]
There's nothing like November,
With its no, no, no;
Its nomenclature notions,
Notices of snow.
Noctambulist the Summer,
Nodding no, no, no
Is from her wigwam noting
Kisses she may throw.
The nomads of November,
Singing no, no, no
Are nominees of promise,
While the northers blow...
~Sara L. Vickers Oberholtzer, "November," Souvenirs of Occasions, 1892
This is November of the hardest kind, bare frozen ground covered with pale brown or straw-colored herbage, a strong, cold, cutting north wind.... This month taxes a walker's resources more than any other.... If you do feel any fire at this season out of doors, you may depend upon it, it is your own.... You can hardly screw up your courage to take a walk when all is thus tightly locked or frozen up, and so little is to be seen in field or wood.... Nature has herself become, like the few fruits she still affords, a very thick-shelled nut with a shrunken meat within. If I find anything to excite a warming thought abroad, it is an agreeable disappointment, for I am obliged to go willfully and against my inclination at first, the prospect looks so barren, so many springs are frozen up, not a flower, perchance, and few birds left, not a companion abroad in all these fields for me. I seem to anticipate a fruitless walk.... But then I am often unexpectedly compensated, and the thinnest yellow light of November is more warming and exhilarating than any wine they tell of. ~Henry David Thoreau, journal, 1857 November 25th
Now yellow autumn's leafy ruins lie
In faded splendor, on deserted plains...
~Anne Hunter (1742–1821), "November, 1784"
In this November though I bend
My heart I cannot find a friend
About the wood. The green is down
From water-mead to forest crown...
The hardy juniper to dust
Corrodes in this autumnal rust.
The goldenrod and aster-head
Are black and broke and more than dead.
This morning, fog about the height
Creeps up and chokes the growing light;
Lies like a blanket through the wood,
And doubly trebles solitude.
And when the sun above the mist
Shall clear a space of amethyst,
He too shall hunt, November-blind,
A friend about the wood to find.
~Philip Henry Savage (1868–1899), "November-blind," Poems, 1898
When chill November's surly blast
Made fields and forests bare...
~Robert Burns (1759–1796), "Man Was Made to Mourn, a Dirge"
There's May amid the meadows
There's May amid the trees...
Above the rippling river
May swallows skim and dart;
November and December
Keep watch within my heart.
~Amy Levy, "A Dirge," c.1884
It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone. You count on it, rely on it to buffer the passage of time, to keep the memory of sunshine and high skies alive, and then just when the days are all twilight, when you need it most, it stops. ~A. Bartlett Giamatti, "The Green Fields of the Mind," Yale Alumni Magazine, November 1977 [about baseball —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]
The melancholy days are come, the saddest of the year,
Of wailing winds, and naked woods, and meadows brown and sear.
Heaped in the hollows of the grove, the withered leaves lie dead...
Where are the flowers, the fair young flowers, that lately sprang and stood
In brighter light and softer airs, a beauteous sisterhood?...
The rain is falling where they lie, but the cold November rain,
Calls not, from out the gloomy earth, the lovely ones again.
~William Cullen Bryant (1794–1878), "The Death of the Flowers"
November's sky is chill and drear,
November's leaf is red and sear...
~Walter Scott (1771–1832), Marmion
A leaf is welcome along the lane,
Periwinkle and wintergreen.
But they sleep asleep in the icy rain,
And the wreck of summer is gray between.
~Philip Henry Savage (1868–1899), "Posthumous Poems: In November," The Poems of Philip Henry Savage, 1901
Who first comes to this world below
With drear November's fog and snow
Should prize the Topaz' amber hue—
Emblem of friends and lovers true.
~Author unknown, "Birth-Month Charms," c.1870
If there's ice in November that will bear a duck,
There'll be nothing after but sludge and muck.
~English folk-lore rhyme, first printed c.1876
November's days are thirty:
November's earth is dirty,
Those thirty days, from first to last;
And the prettiest things on ground are the paths....
Few care for the mixture of earth and water,
Twig, leaf, flint, thorn,
Straw, feather, all that men scorn,
Pounded up and sodden by flood,
Condemned as mud.
~Edward Thomas (1878-1917), "November"
The November evening had a bite; it nibbled not-quite-gently at her cheeks and ears. In Virginia the late autumn was a lover, still, but a dangerous one. ~J. Aleksandr Wootton, The Eighth Square (Fayborn Book 2), 2013, www.jackwootton.com
Last saved 2022 Jul 03 Sun 17:54 PDT