Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THIS SONG, by HAYDEN CARRUTH

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THIS SONG, by                 Poet Analysis     Poet's Biography
First Line: In an afternoon bright with
Last Line: Murmurs from high in the old pine trees
Subject(s): Hair; Women

In an afternoon bright with
September, or in an old dissension
bright with fear, I went wandering where
there was purity in white lady's tresses,
hiddenness in peeping bluebottle gentians,

and where many species of goldenrod
and asters made funeral for the lost
summer world, and ferns, taken by frost,
made russet the fields and turned
the waysides yellow and brown.

It struck me that I had wandered all my years
like this, half a century, searching
for the touch that heals, but there is
no touch; searching everywhere for the
look that says I know, but there is

no look. This is Vermont, the land
hidden from violent times, far from the center
of life, they say. I walk by the gray brook,
around the knoll, through the pines. Winter
is coming. Searching, searching with my hand,

I feel September's little knives, and with my eyes
I see bright spattered leaves in the matted
grass. I hear this song, if it be a song: these
insistent little bright fearful hesitant
murmurs from high in the old pine trees.

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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