Friday, 19 of January of 2018

Tag » poetry

Letitia Elizabeth Landon – Oak

From Wikipedia: “Her reputation, while high in the 19th century, fell during most of the 20th as literary fashions changed and Landon’s poetry was perceived as overly simple and sentimental. In recent years, however, scholars and critics have increasingly studied her work, beginning with Germaine Greer in the 1970s.

Critics such as Isobel Armstrong argue that the supposed simplicity of poetry such as Landon’s is deceptive, and that women poets of the 19th century often employed a method of writing which allows for multiple, concurrent levels of meaning. …Any assessment should not forget the factors that brought Landon to pre-eminence: the originality of her ideas and the sheer beauty of her poetry in all its many diverse forms. Those ideas engendered a whole new school of poetry (the ‘Landon School’), which spread not only in England but also in America.””

. . . It is the last survivor of a race
silton-oak-1Strong in their forest-pride when I was young.
I can remember when, for miles around,
In place of those smooth meadows and corn-fields,
There stood ten thousand tall and stately trees,
Such as had braved the winds of March, the bolt
Sent by the summer lightning, and the snow
Heaping for weeks their boughs. Even in the depth
Of hot July the glades were cool; the grass,
Yellow and parched elsewhere, grew long and fresh,
Shading wild strawberries and violets,
Or the lark’s nest; and overhead the dove
Had her lone dwelling, paying for her home
With melancholy songs; and scarce a beech
Was there without a honeysuckle linked
Around, with its red tendrils and pink flowers;
Or girdled by a brier-rose, whose buds
Yield fragrant harvest for the honey-bee
There dwelt the last red deer, those antler’d kings . . .
But this is as dream,—the plough has pass’d
Where the stag bounded, and the day has looked
On the green twilight of the forest-trees.
This oak has no companion! . . . .

Bob Finkbine – Bury My Heart


Fluid thief Colorado
ferrying silt, carving rock,
spawning catclaw and catfish.

Shadowed symmetry
of subtle
lines latticed
on upcurved canyon walls;
sheerwall rising above
narrow plateaus
where ocotillos wave
twisted arms
and seep springs feed spraygrass.

Swallowtail butterflies flit
along porous lava, cracked crosscuts
slicing down to where light splays
Colorado-River-Basinon water, spangling above depths
where unslackened, the current
never rests.

my fingers scratch away pebbles,
scoop out handfuls of sand and dirt
fashioning a place
for my heart,
covering it over,
letting soil work.

Nursed in cretaceous darkness,
Colorado_River_Watershedroots tentacle out to pierce
close-moleculed masks of stone.
Man earth, earth man,
skin dissolved, flesh gone,
bones sinking into a lost sea,
into sacred ribbons of water
chattering off the backs of mountains,
licking the wounds of the earth,
folding and unfolding her seasons
like pages of a book

Bob Finkbine
September 1994 Earth First!

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