Friday, August 9, 2019

Summer of Tree Books (and poems): The Willows of Massachusetts

This week, I am traveling with my kids throughout the northeast, spending much of our time in and around Boston. I'll post next Friday about my reading progress with the final two Summer of Tree Books. For now, here is:

The Willows of Massachusetts
by Denise Levertov
Animal willows of November
in pelt of gold enduring when all else
has let go all ornament
and stands naked in the cold.
Cold shine of sun on swamp water,
cold caress of slant beam on bough,
gray light on brown bark.
Willows--last to relinquish a leaf,
curious, patient, lion-headed, tense
with energy, watching
the serene cold through a curtain
of tarnished strands.


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"As soon as we express something, we devalue it strangely. We believe ourselves to have dived down into the depths of the abyss, and when we once again reach the surface, the drops of water on our pale fingertips no longer resemble the ocean from which they came...Nevertheless, the treasure shimmers in the darkness unchanged." ---Franz Kafka