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A SOUTH CAROLINA FOREST, by                 Poet Analysis     Poet's Biography
First Line: Hush, hush, these woods are thick with shapes and voices
Subject(s): Forests; South Carolina; Woods

HUSH, hush, these woods are thick with shapes and voices,
They crowd behind, in front,
Scarcely can one's wheels break through them.
For God's sake, drive quickly!
There are butchered victims behind those trees,
And what you say is moss I know is the dead hair of hanged men.
Drive faster, faster!
The hair will catch in our wheels and clog them;
We are thrown from side to side by the dead bodies in the road.
Do you not smell the reek of them,
And see the jaundiced film that hides the stars?
Stand on the accelerator. I would rather be bumped to a jelly
Than caught by clutching hands I cannot see,
Than be stifled by the press of mouths I cannot feel.
Not in the light glare, you fool, but on either side of it.
Curse these swift, running trees -
Hurl them aside, leap them, crush them down!
Say prayers if you like,
Do anything to drown the screaming silence of this forest,
To hide the spinning shapes that jam the trees.
What mystic adventure is this
In which you have engulfed me?
What no-world have you shot us into?
What Dante dream without a farther edge?
Fright kills, they say, and I believe it.
If you would not have murder on your conscience,
For Heaven's sake, get on!

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