The Atlantic Daily: A Poem for a Fall Weekend

By Caroline Mimbs Nyce

I’m bad at seasons: Sometimes I jump into one weeks too early, only to later realize it’s passed me by.

This fall could pass us all by. Time, we’ve all learned, goes both quickly and slowly in a pandemic, and before we know it, parts of the country will see snow. The news cycle beckons, but this weekend, we give you permission to slow down. Take a healthy break from your devices and breathe in some crisp air.

Spare a moment for seasonal delights, be it an overly sugary latte, or a walk in nature. If you’re struggling to unwind this evening, my colleague Faith Hill, who helps curate our Atlantic poetry selections, recommends a poem.

Here is an excerpt from “Attention,” an abecedarian by Leila Chatti.

All day, the world makes its demands. There’s so much of it, world, /

begging to be noticed. Two seconds past dreaming, the cat’s there kneading /

claws into my chest, a truck outside coughs, and a buzz alerts me to the newest /

dispatch of love. The beginning of devotion, the poet said, and I devote myself to /

everything, I try to be /

fair—to the kettle’s fussy squall, and the eggs’ expiration date, the amassed /

garbage and mail in domiciliary limbo by the door, I espy the top /

headlines, the top of my feed, trending topics and the occasion for today’s /

irascible flock, injudiciously I devote myself to a grade-school acquaintance’s Facebook /

jeremiad, the entirety of a former paramour’s mawkish engagement shoot, cringey /

katzenjammer of a comments section, and then an insurgence of morning /

lacquers my screen, vagary of sun, with lapidary clarity /

motes glistering by the window, water illumed in a jar …

Continue reading.

An enormous tiger splashes through water

(A Bengal tigress runs in Guadalajara Zoo in Jalisco state, Mexico, on October 5, 2021.)

Explore the week that was. Our senior editor Alan Taylor put together this gallery of photographs from around the world.

Read. Virginia Woolf’s 1925 novel, Mrs. Dalloway, is a great novel of the internet, despite being published long before the web’s invention.

For something more recent, Jonathan Franzen has a new book out that may be his best one yet.

If you’re looking for a work of nonfiction, my colleague Daniel Engber tells the story of two engineers whose daughter’s freak accident changed their careers—and lives—forever.

Watch. Season two of Ted Lasso comes to a close on Apple TV+. Its title character is no superhero, our culture writer Sophie Gilbert argues—and that’s a good thing.

The new James Bond movie, No Time to Die, is finally in theaters after many pandemic delays. The flick is a fond farewell to Daniel Craig’s time as 007, our critic David Sims writes.

Titane, a transgressive and relentless film from Julia Ducournau, will leave you “feeling like you’ve been rattled by a roller coaster,” David writes.

Listen. On the first-ever episode of The Review, three of our culture writers discuss what Ted Lasso says about American optimism.

Also new this week is How to Build a Happy Life. The premiere episode is about how to manage your feelings so they don’t manage you.

Remember those who came before us. Ahead of Indigenous Peoples’ Day, read the Ojibwe author and historian David Treuer on why America’s national parks should be returned to the tribes.


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