Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, PURSUIT, by HILDA DOOLITTLE

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

PURSUIT, by                 Poet's Biography
First Line: What do I care
Last Line: In the larch-cones and the underbrush.
Alternate Author Name(s): H. D.; Aldington, Richard, Mrs.
Subject(s): Bible

What do I care
that the stream is trampled,
the sand on the stream-bank
still holds the print of your foot:
the heel is cut deep.
I see another mark on the grass ridge of the bank --
it points toward the wood-path
I have lost the third in the packed earth.
But here
a wild-hyacinth stalk is snapped:
the purple buds -- half ripe --
show deep purple
where your heel pressed.
A patch of flowering grass,
low, trailing --
you brushed this:
the green stems show yellow-green
where you lifted -- turned the earth-side
to the light:
this and a dead leaf-spine
split across,
show where you passed.
You were swift,swift!
here the forest ledge slopes --
rain has furrowed the roots.
Your hand caught at this;
the root snapped under your weight.
I can almost follow the note
where it touched this slender tree
and the next answered --
and the next.
And you climbed yet further!
you stopped by the dwarf-cornel --
whirled on your heels,
doubled on your track.
This is clear --
you fell on the downward slope,
you dragged a bruised thigh -- you limped --
you clutched this larch.
Did your head, bent back,
Search further --
clear through the green leaf-moss
of the larch branches?
Did you clutch,
stammer with short breath and gasp:
wood-daemons grant life --
give life -- I am almost lost.
For some wood-daemon
has lightened your steps.
I can find no trace of you
in the larch-cones and the underbrush.

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