Sunday, August 9, 2015

A. R. Ammons

A. R. Ammons [The Famous People]

from A. R. Ammons Collected Poems:


Coming to a pinywoods
       where a stream darted across the path
like a squirrel or frightened blacksnake
I sat down on a sunny hillock
           and leaned back against a pine
and picked up some dry pineneedle bundles from the ground
and tore each bundle apart a needle at a time
    It was not Coulter's pine
    for coulteri is funnier looking
    and not Monterey either
and I thought God must have had Linnaeus in mind
orders of trees correspond so well between them
and I dropped to sleep wondering what design God
had meant the human mind to fit
           and looked up and saw a great bird
warming in the sun high on a pine limb
tearing from his breast golden feathers
    softer than the new gold that
    dropped to the wind one or two
    gently and touched my face
I picked one up and it said
       The world is bright after rain
for rain washes death out of the land and hides it far
beneath the soil and it returns again cleansed with life
           and so all is a circle
and nothing is separable
Look at this noble pine from which you are
almost indistinguishable it is also sensible
       and cries out when it is felled
and so I said are trees blind and is the earth black to them
Oh if trees are blind
           I do not want to be a tree
A wind rising of one in time blowing the feather away
forsaken I woke
and the golden bird had flown away and the sun
had moved the shadows over me so I rose and walked on

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