Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, FRENCH HILL, by HAYDEN CARRUTH

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

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FRENCH HILL, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Tell, acquaint me
Last Line: That house known / for love?
Subject(s): Memory

Tell, acquaint me
why they care,
men, if they lie

here or there
in finality?
Tell how come

they are so hot
to put the cold bones
they will have got

in this or another
remembered spot?
And if nearby or far

stone stand or
urn repose, tell
how they'll know it --

will they not
have gone all beyond
what knows and what's known,

meadow or grove or any
glory of mount
or glimmering plot?

For inside the skull
if it be winter
what is memory

but the mere ice that will,
before the ash leaves grow,
thaw and rot?

Here's ash in a knot
of smoky wild rose
above the valley

over the river --
is it a green tree
on midsummer day?

Tomorrow it will not
be a smoking ruin
-- imagination is done! --

nothing, nothing
it will be
no thing.

Tell, acquaint me
half-dead mind

after all the tear-
drenched years
you'd still

when ice
frizzles your jelly

high above valley
and over river
with the ruined ash

and the burnt rose
the rain and the winter
and tell me why

it is any use or good
if a stone certify
the name of nothing

up here above
that house known
for love?

Used with the permission of Copper Canyon Press, P.O. Box 271, Port Townsend, WA
98368-0271, www.cc.press.org

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