Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE WAY OF THE CONVENTICLE OF THE TREES, by HAYDEN CARRUTH



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THE WAY OF THE CONVENTICLE OF THE TREES, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Just yesterday afternoon I heard a man
Last Line: For a long, long time when I'm gone
Subject(s): Trees


Just yesterday afternoon I heard a man
Say he lived in a house with no windows
The door of which was locked on the outside.
This was at a party in New York, New York.
A deep Oriental type, I said to myself,
One of them indescribable Tebootans who
Live up on Quaker Heights and drink
Mulled kvass first thing every morning
With their vitamins. An asshole. And
Haven't I more years than he? Haven't
I spent them looking out the window
At the trees? Oh the various trees.
They have looked back at me with their
Homely American faces: the hemlocks
And white birches of one of my transient
Homes, the catalpas and honey locusts
Of another, the sweet gum and bay and
Coffee trees, the hop hornbeam and the
Spindle tree, the dogwood, the great
Horse chestnut, the overdressed pawpaw
Who is the gamine of that dominion.
Then, behind them, the forest, the sodality.
What pizzazz in their theorizing! How fat
The sentimentibilities of their hosannas!
I have looked at them out the window
So intently and persistently that always
My who-I-am has gone out among them
Where the fluttering ideas beckon. Yes,
We've been best friends these sixty-nine
Years, standing around this hot stove
Of a world, hawking, phewing, guffawing,
My dear ones, who will remember me
For a long, long time when I'm gone.


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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