Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, SURFACES AND MASKS; 30, by CLARENCE MAJOR



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SURFACES AND MASKS; 30, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: They cut down the last tree
Last Line: Kept behind stone walls?
Subject(s): Venice, Italy; Deforestation


They cut down the last tree
on the campo
where I sit
near the old boatyard at San Trovaso.
The birds also miss it:
they fly into the space
where it once stood and
sink,
as though in quicksand.
I can now see the path,
church,
and castle.
But did I need to?
Rain now
falls hard to the ground,
with no leaves or limbs
to pause on.
Yet, when did Venice
seriously
need trees or gardens
not secretly
kept behind stone walls?


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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