Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, FIVE TREES, by LOUIS UNTERMEYER



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FIVE TREES, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Five pine trees held up on the nape of a broken hill
Last Line: Which are you today?
Alternate Author Name(s): Lewis, Michael
Subject(s): Pine Trees; Trees


Five pine trees held up on the nape of a broken hill
Huddle and dream in a pattern of disarray.
The first is twisted with thought; it is gnarled and still;
It has nothing to throw to the winds that tore its branches away.

The second is restless with youth. It answers the wind
With laughter of leaves; it claps its green hands
At every air stirring, no matter how fetid or thinned;
It sings, with impatient abandon, of all that it scarce understands.

The third is expansive, a generous mother of trees.
All day it keeps crooning an old wives' patter of charms.
And the cold moon is held, for a spell, on compassionate knees,
And the wind is a child that it hushes to sleep in its arms.

The fourth has a taunt for each breeze; it dares to be taken,
Sure of its roots in the solid, respectable earth.
The fifth is a dying trunk, too old to be shaken
By winds that are less to it now that half-hearted whispers of birth.

Five pine trees held up on the nape of a broken hill
Huddle and dream in a pattern of disarray . . .
And you pass among them. They touch you; you alter. Stand still!
Which are you today?





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