Tuesdays are for poetry | 11.20.18

Tuesdays are for poetry | 11.20.18

Since reading The Overstory, I have been more fixated on trees and really thinking much about this brilliant story that Richard Powers wrote. Recently, when I was flipping through a compilation of Derek Walcott’s poetry, I was struck by this poem and though I have not spent much time in eastern Pennsylvania, I can distinctly hear what he writes about.

I think this poem fits perfectly for Thanksgiving as well and perhaps this week when you are outside you will listen to the beautiful “mute roar of autumn” with deep gratitude.

Pastoral by Derek Walcott

In the mute roar of autumn, in the shrill
treble of the aspens, the basso of the holm-oaks,
in the silvery wandering aria of the Schuylkill,
the poplars choiring with a quillion strokes,
find love for what is not your land, a blazing country
in eastern Pennsylvania with the DVD going
in the rented burgundy Jeep, in the inexhaustible bounty
of fall with the image of Eakins’ gentleman rowing
in his slim skiff whenever the trees divide
to reveal a river’s serene surprise, flowing
through snow-flecked birches where Indian hunters glide.
The country has caught fire from the single spark
of a prophesying preacher, its embers glowing,
its clouds are smoke in the onrushing dark
a holocaust crackles in this golden oven
in which tribes were consumed, a debt still owing,
while a white country spire insists on heaven.

I hope your Thanksgiving preparations are going smoothly and whether you are traveling or are receiving travelers – may those travels be safe.

I will see you back here tomorrow for Unraveled Wednesday!

Tuesday’s are for poetry

Tuesday’s are for poetry

As National Poetry Month draws to a close, I thought I would share a poem from a newly discovered poet (Thanks, Kym!).

After reading a poem by Derek Walcott on Kym’s blog earlier this month, I check out an anthology of Derek’s poetry from the library and have been reading a poem or two a day during the month. I have enjoyed his works tremendously. He has given me a different perspective to look at things, which is always a very good thing.

Forty Acres
by Derek Walcott

     to Barack Obama

Out of the turmoil emerges one emblem, an engraving –
a young Negro at dawn in straw hat and overalls,
an emblem of impossible prophecy: a crowd
dividing like the furrow which a mule has plowed,
parting for their president; a field of snow-flecked cotton
forty acres wide, of crows with predictable omens
that the young plowman ignores for his unforgotten
cotton-haired ancestors, while lined on one branch are a tense
court of bespectacled owls and, on the field’s receding rim
is a gesticulating scarecrow stamping with rage at him
while the small plow continues on this lined page
beyond the moaning ground, the lynching tree, the tornado’s black vengeance,
and the young plowman feels the change in his veins, heart, muscles, tendons,
till the field lies open like a flag as dawn’s sure
light streaks the field and furrows wait for the sower.

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