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Author: BERRY, WENDELL
Matches Found: 482


Berry, Wendell    Poet's Biography
482 poems available by this author


10-OCT       
First Line: Now constantly there is the sound
Last Line: The calling of a crow sounds %loud--a landmark--now %that the life of summer falls %silent,and the n


2-FEB-68       
First Line: In the dark of the moon, in flying snow, in the dead of winter
Last Line: I walk the rocky hillside, sowing clover


2-SEP-69       
First Line: In the evening there were flocks of nighthawks
Last Line: An acceptance of decline. Having worked, %I would sleep, my leaves all dissolved in flight


22-MAR-68       
First Line: As spring begins the river rises
Last Line: In the night I lay awake, thinking %of the river rising, the spring heavy %with official meaningless


A HOMECOMING    Poem Text    
First Line: One faith is bondage. Two
Subject(s): Homecoming


A PURIFICATION    Poem Text    
First Line: At start of spring I open a trench
Last Line: The old escapes into the new
Subject(s): Christianity; Religion; Theology


A THIRD POSSIBILITY    Poem Text    
First Line: I fired the brush pile by the creek
Last Line: Between the two, and liked them both
Subject(s): Christianity; Religion; Theology


A TIMBERED CHOIR    Poem Text    
First Line: Even while I dreamed I prayed that what I saw was only fear and no foretelling


A VISION    Poem Text    
First Line: If we will have the wisdom to survive
Last Line: Its hardship is its posibility
Subject(s): Environment; Environmental Protection; Ecology; Conservation


ADZE       
First Line: I came out to the barn lot
Last Line: I stayed back, and he went on %with what he had to do %whiledark fell round him


AGAINST THE WAR IN VIETNAM       
First Line: Believe the automatic righteousness
Last Line: With blood, the vision of jefferson %served by the agony of children, %women cowering in holes


AIR       
First Line: This man proud and young
Last Line: Is hanging from a tree


AIR AND FIRE    Poem Text    
First Line: From my wife and household and fields
Subject(s): Love


AIR AND FIRE       
First Line: From my wife and household and fields
Last Line: My old love comes on me in midair
Subject(s): Love


ALL       
First Line: All bend
Last Line: In one wind


AN ANNIVERSARY    Poem Text    
First Line: What we have been becomes
Last Line: In the country we have married
Subject(s): Christianity; Religion; Theology


ANGER AGAINST BEASTS    Poem Text    
First Line: The hook of adrenalin shoves
Subject(s): Anger


ANGER AGAINST BEASTS       
First Line: The hook of adrenaline shoves
Last Line: His triumph is a wound. Spent, %he must wait the slow %unalterable forgiveness of time


ANGLO-SAXON PROTESTANT HETEROSEXUAL MEN       
First Line: Come, dear brothers
Last Line: And a few centuries of honest work


ANNIVERSARY       
First Line: What we have been becomes
Last Line: Darkened, we are carried %out of need, deep %in the country we have married
Subject(s): Christianity; Religion


ANOTHER DESCENT       
First Line: Through the weeks of deep snow
Last Line: And the branches of light sing in the hills, %slowly we return to earth


ANSWER       
First Line: What's it all about?
Last Line: Don't ask %and then you'll know


APPLE TREE       
First Line: In the essential prose
Last Line: And disappear, singing %among the design


APRIL WOODS: MORNING       
First Line: Birth of color
Last Line: Luminous the gatherings %of bloodroot %newly risen, green leaf %white flower %in the sun, the dark %


ARCHITECTURE       
First Line: Like a room, the clear stanza
Last Line: As to a place, a room commenced %at the end of sleep. Around%him his singing is entire


ARISTOCRACY       
First Line: Paradise might have appeared here
Last Line: Years-is a rich, fat, selfish, %ugly, ignorant, old %bitch, airing her cat


ARRIVAL       
First Line: Like a tide it comes in
Last Line: In its extravagance we shape %the strenuous outline of enough


AT A COUNTRY FUNERAL    Poem Text     Recitation
First Line: Now the old ways that have brought us
Last Line: A second and more final death
Subject(s): Christianity; Religion; Theology


AT A COUNTRY FUNERAL       
First Line: Now the old ways that have brought us
Last Line: Faithful to the fields, lest the dead die %a second and more final death
Subject(s): Christianity; Religion


AUTUMN BURNING       
First Line: In my line of paperwork
Last Line: Of crickets and of birds, I turn, %unburdened, to life beyond words


AWAKE AT NIGHT       
First Line: Late in the night I pay
Last Line: To learn to lie still, %one with the earth %again, and let the world go


BARN       
First Line: While we unloaded the hay fron the truck, building
Subject(s): Barns


BE STILL IN HASTE    Poem Text    
First Line: How quietly I


BEFORE DARK       
First Line: From the porch at dusk I watched
Last Line: The night had accommodated him %--at the place he was headed for %or where, led by his delight, %he


BELL CALLS IN THE TOWN       
Last Line: The life that steps and sings in ways of death


BELOW       
First Line: Above trees and rooftops
Last Line: What I stand for %is what I stand on


BENT TREE       
First Line: I find a young ash bent to the ground
Last Line: It holds, mild as a flower, %the force of the sky


BEST REWARD       
First Line: The best reward in going to the woods
Last Line: Or answered by a certainn one, or two
Subject(s): Nature; Solitude


BIRD KILLER       
First Line: His enemy, the universe, surrounds him nightly with stars
Last Line: Who love light, he lets go free to die in the broad woods %in the dark the notes of his song


BIRTH (NEAR PORT WILLIAM)       
First Line: They were into the lambing, up late
Last Line: And the thought of the wild creatures warm %asleep in their nests, deep underground


BLUE ROBE       
First Line: How joyful to be together, alone
Last Line: Beautiful in her blue robe!


BOONE       
First Line: Beyond this final house
Last Line: In the speckled thickets %-obedient %to darkness, %be innocent of my dying


BREAKING       
First Line: Did I believe I had a clear mind?
Last Line: That the rising water has broken %the ice, I see that what I thought %was the light is part of the d


BROKEN GROUND       
First Line: The opening out and out
Last Line: What is left %is what is
Subject(s): Farm Life


BUILDINGS       
First Line: The buildings are all womanly. Their roofs
Subject(s): Buildings And Builders


CANTICLE       
First Line: What death means is not this
Last Line: In the altar rails make a jukebox of the world, %the mind paying its gnawed coins for the safety of


CATHEDRAL       
First Line: Stone %of the earth
Last Line: Of its own weight %light


CHILD UNBORN, THE COMING YEAR       


CLEAR DAYS       
First Line: The dogs of indecision
Last Line: When the mind's an empty room %the clear days come


CLEARING RESTS IN SONG AND SHADE       


CLEARING: 1       
First Line: Through elm, buckeye, thorn
Last Line: Of honeysuckle, tangles %of grape and bittersweet, %sing, steel,the hard song %of vision cutting in


CLEARING: 10       
First Line: We pile the brush high
Last Line: It goes into the air. %what bore the wind %the wind will bear


CLEARING: 11       
First Line: An evening comes
Last Line: When we finish work and go, %stumblers under the folding sky, %the field clear behind us


CLEARING: 2       
First Line: Vision must have severity
Last Line: The dread of too much to do, %the wish to make desire %easy,the thought of rest


CLEARING: 3       
First Line: We don't bother nobody
Last Line: Like a cloud upon vision: %to be free of labor, %the predicament of other lives, %not to be bothered


CLEARING: 4       
First Line: Vision reaches the ground
Last Line: We leave the walnut trees, %graces of the ground %flourishing in the air


CLEARING: 5       
First Line: A man who does not ask too much
Last Line: This union makes him small, %a part of what he would keep


CLEARING: 6       
First Line: As the vision of labor grows
Last Line: Leave the body to die %in its time, in the final dignity %that knows no loss in the fallen %high hor


CLEARING: 7       
First Line: In the predicament of other lives
Last Line: Lie. Hunger will find it, %the bones divide by stealth, %theblack head with its star %drift into the


CLEARING: 8       
First Line: Streets, guns, machines
Last Line: Where the time of rain is kept %take what is half ruined %and make it clear, put it %back in mind


CLEARING: 9       
First Line: February. A cloudy day
Last Line: A kingfisher utters %his harsh cry, rising %from the leafless river. %again, again, the old %is newl


COLD       
First Line: How exactly good it is
Last Line: And having known fully the %goodness of that, it will be %good also to melt


COLD PANE       
First Line: Between the living world
Last Line: A man who looks too close %must fog it with his breath, %or hold his breath too long


COME FORTH       
First Line: I dreamed of my father when he was old
Last Line: And strong in the sun's unshadowed excellence


COME ON       
First Line: Come on, baby,' says %the sparrow's wife, fluttering
Last Line: How much weed seed do you %have to eat to do that?


COMPANIONS       
First Line: When he goes out in the morning
Last Line: She just observes his homecoming, %lifelike in her chair %asthe shell of a wan moth %holding to the


CONTRARINESS OF THE MAD FARMER       
First Line: I am done with apologies. If contrariness is my
Last Line: I say I don't know. It is not the only or the easiest %way to come to the truth. It is one way


COUNTRY OF MARRIAGE       
First Line: I dream of you walking at night along the streams
Last Line: Again and again, and satisfy - and this poem, %no more mine than any man's who has loved a woman
Subject(s): Love


CREATION MYTH       
First Line: This is a story handed down
Last Line: He said, and laid the field out clear %under mckinley's feet, and placed %the map of it in his head


CROP MUST DRINK, WE MOVE THE PIPE       


CURRENT       
First Line: Having once put his hand into the ground
Last Line: A young man who has reached into the ground, %his hand held in the dark as by a hand
Subject(s): Spring


DANCE       
First Line: The stepping-stones, once
Last Line: At the winter's end, I dance %the history of its weather


DANCE       
First Line: I would have each couple turn
Last Line: Out of the multitude %in which you come and go. %love changes, and in change is true
Subject(s): Dancing And Dancers; Love - Marital


DANTE       
First Line: If you imagine
Last Line: You are there yourself


DARK AROUND US COME       


DARK WITH POWER       
First Line: Dark with power, we remain
Last Line: Fed with dying, we gaze %on our might's monuments of fire. %the world dangles from us %while we gaze


DESIGN OF A HOUSE       
First Line: Except in idea, perfection is as wild
Last Line: The black swifts may come back to


DESOLATION    Poem Text    
First Line: A gracious spirit sings as it comes
Last Line: Out by root and crown
Subject(s): Religion; Theology


DESOLATION       
First Line: A gracious spirit sings as it comes
Last Line: Unless the solitary will forbear, %the blade enters the ground %to tear the world's comfort %out, ro
Subject(s): Religion


DIAGON    Poem Text    
First Line: In the riven channel torqued in its bends
Subject(s): Fish


DISCIPLINE       
First Line: Turn toward the holocaust, it approaches
Last Line: It is the time's discipline to think %of the death of all living, and yet live


DO NOT BE ASHAMED    Poem Text    
First Line: You will be walking some night


DO NOT BE ASHAMED       
First Line: You will be walking some night
Last Line: I am not ashamed.' a sure horizon %will come around you. The heron will begin %his evening flight fr


DREAM       
First Line: I dream an inescapable dream
Last Line: Where are the sleeps that escape such dreams?


DREAM ENDED, I WENT OUT, AWAKE       


DUALITY       
First Line: To love is to suffer - did I
Last Line: Love, and by loving live


DUST    Poem Text    
First Line: The dust motes float
Subject(s): Dust


DUST       
First Line: The dust motes float %and swerve in the sunbeam
Last Line: We may be living on an atom %in somebody's wallpaper'


EAGER DOG LIES STRANGE AND STILL       
Last Line: We stand here face to face


EARTH AND FIRE       
First Line: In this woman the earth speaks
Last Line: The winds of her knees shake me %like a flame. I have risen up from her, %time and again, a new man


ELEGY    Poem Text    
First Line: All day our eyes could find no resting place


ELEGY       
First Line: To be at home on its native ground
Last Line: Went back toward the light of day


ELEGY; PRYOR THOMAS BERRY, MARCH 4, 1864 - FEBRUARY 23, 1946       
First Line: All day our eyes could find no resting place
Last Line: Our remembering moves from a different place


ENCLOSING THE FIELD WITHIN BOUNDS       


ENEMIES       
First Line: If you are not to become a monster
Last Line: Pitiable because unforgiving


ENRICHING THE EARTH       
First Line: To enrich the earth I have sowed clover and grass
Last Line: Entering the earth. And so what was heaviest %and most mute is at last raised up into song


ENVOY       
First Line: Love, all day there has been at the edge of my mind
Last Line: That you do not know. In you I know %the deep leisure of the filling moon. May I live long


EPITAPH       
First Line: Having lived long in time
Last Line: We are added to one another forever


ESTRANGED BY DISTANCE, HE RELEARNS       


EXCEPT       
First Line: Now that you have gone
Last Line: How good it is, tanya, %to be alone and quiet.'


FACT       
First Line: After all these %analyses
Last Line: The fact %remains intact


FALL       
First Line: The wild cherries ripen, black and fat
Last Line: When you have learned their bitterness, they taste sweet


FALLING ASLEEP       
First Line: Raindrops on the tin roof
Last Line: We have all %been here before


FAMILIAR       
First Line: The hand is risen from the earth
Last Line: Returns to be known again. Going %and coming back, it forms its curves, %a nerved ghostly anatomy in


FARMER AMONG THE TOMBS       
First Line: I am oppressed by all the room taken up by the dead
Last Line: And go free, their acres traversed all summer %by crop rows and cattle and foraging bees


FARMER AND THE SEA       
First Line: The sea always arriving
Last Line: Silently as snow, keeper and maker %of places wholly dark. And in him %something dark applauds


FARMER, SPEAKING OF MONUMENTS       
First Line: Always, on their generation's breaking wave
Last Line: Doing, standing for him, awake and orderly. %in autumn, all his monuments fall


FEAR OF DARKNESS       
First Line: The tall marigolds darken
Last Line: His birthright %is a third-hand chevrolet, %bought for too much. 'I %floorboard the son of a bitch,


FEAR OF LOVE       
First Line: I come to the fear of love
Last Line: We stand as in an open field, %blossom, leaf, and stem, %rooted and shaken in our day, %heads noddin


FINCHES       
First Line: The ears stung with cold
Last Line: May the bare sticks soon %live, and our minds go free %of the ground %into the shining of trees


FIRST       
First Line: The first man who whistled
Last Line: He went around all day %with his lips puckered, %afraid to swallow


FIRST TIME I REMEMBER WAKING UP       
Last Line: In the dark that night, without a dime


FOR AN ABSENCE       
First Line: When I cannot be with you
Last Line: Quiet to sleep again


FOR THE EXPLAINERS       
First Line: Spell the spiel of cause and effect
Last Line: And put the white ring round his neck?


FOR THE FUTURE    Poem Text    
First Line: Planting trees early in the spring
Subject(s): Trees


FOR THE FUTURE       
First Line: Planting trees early in spring
Last Line: There is no other guarantee %that singing will ever be


FOR THE HOG KILLING    Poem Text    
First Line: Let them stand still for the bullet, and stare the shooter in the eye
Last Line: By our hunger, by this provisioning, we renew the bond
Subject(s): Farm Life; Agriculture; Farmers


FOR THE HOG KILLING       
First Line: Let them stand still for the bullet, and stare the shooter in the eye
Last Line: For by our hunger, by this provisioning, we renew the bond
Subject(s): Farm Life


FOR THE REBUILDING OF A HOUSE    Poem Text    
First Line: To know the inhabiting reasons
Last Line: That the dark may come clean
Subject(s): Houses


FOR THE REBUILDING OF A HOUSE       
First Line: To know the inhabiting reasons
Last Line: I build the place of my dream. %I build the place of my leaving %that the dark may come clean
Subject(s): Houses


FOR THE RECORD       
First Line: The great sports hero can remember
Last Line: Now he's desperately affixed to woman number %53,671


FORTY YEARS       
First Line: Life is your privilege, not your belonging.
Last Line: It is the loss of it, now, that you will be singing


FROG WITH LICHENED BACK AND GOLDEN THIGH       


FROM REVERDURE    Poem Text    
First Line: One thing work gives
Last Line: To come into the presence of this time
Subject(s): Labor & Laborers; Work; Workers


FROM REVERDURE       
First Line: One thing work gives
Subject(s): Labor And Laborers


FROM THE CREST: 1       
First Line: What we leave behind to sleep
Last Line: Now in the silent keep %of stars and of my work %I lay me down to sleep


FROM THE CREST: 10       
First Line: Let the great song come
Last Line: Even in the rising year, %even in the spring, %the little can hope to sing %only in praise of the gr


FROM THE CREST: 2       
First Line: The deepest sleep holds us
Last Line: For another day. I weave %round it again the kindling %tapestry of desire


FROM THE CREST: 3       
First Line: My life's wave is at its crest
Last Line: At the final stroke %I will be a finished man


FROM THE CREST: 4       
First Line: Little farm, motherland, made
Last Line: Plants and beasts whose lives %loop like dolphins through your sod


FROM THE CREST: 5       
First Line: Going into the city, coming
Last Line: We will write them a poem %to tell them of the great %membership, the mystic order, %to which both o


FROM THE CREST: 6       
First Line: When I think of death I see
Last Line: Poised upon the ground, %held in place %by vision, love, andwork, %all as passing as a thought


FROM THE CREST: 7       
First Line: Beginning and end
Last Line: To love these things one did not %intend is to be a friend %to the beginning and the end


FROM THE CREST: 8       
First Line: And when we speak together
Last Line: Dreams and visions flower %from these beds our bodies are


FROM THE CREST: 9       
First Line: The farm travels in snow
Last Line: To new. The dead and living %prepare again to mate


FROM THE DISTANCE       
First Line: We are others and the earth
Last Line: Stuttered in the flame


FUME AND SHOCK AND UPROAR       


GATHERING       
First Line: At my age my father
Last Line: To be brother to all %my fathers, memory %speaking to knowledge, %finally, in my bones


GIFT OF GRAVITY       
First Line: All that passes descends
Last Line: In my mind, I come to what %must come to me, carried %as a dancer by a song. %this grace is gravity


GOING    Poem Text    
First Line: Like a city, lighted


GOODS       
First Line: It's the immemorial feelings
Last Line: Of a good team of belgian mares %that seems to shudder from me %through all my ancestry


GRACE    Poem Text    
First Line: The woods is shining this morning


GRACE       
First Line: The woods is shining this morning
Last Line: Is the same. Be still. Be still. %'he moves your bones, and the way is clear.'


GRACIOUS SABBATH STOOD HERE WHILE THEY STOOD       


GRANDMOTHER       
First Line: Better born than married, misled
Last Line: That love had led her to. They had to break her %before she would lie down in her coffin
Subject(s): Labor And Laborers


GREAT DEATHLY POWERS HAVE PASSED       


GREEN AND WHITE       
First Line: The wind scruffing it, the bay
Last Line: There's danger in it. They fly %beyond idea till they come back


GRIEF       
First Line: The morning comes. The old woman, a spot
Last Line: Knowing, but not saying, and the living %turn back to their day, their grieving and staying


GUEST       
First Line: Washed into the doorway
Last Line: To permit me to forget him- %knowing I won't. He's the guest%of my knowing, though not asked
Subject(s): Christianity; Guests; Religion


HAIL TO THE FOREST BORN AGAIN       


HANDING DOWN: 1. THE LIGHT       
First Line: The mind is the continuity
Last Line: It is the illumination of a passage, %no more


HANDING DOWN: 10. THE FREEDOM OF LOVING       
First Line: After his long wakeful life
Last Line: To ripeness. His love %turned away from death, freely, %is equal to it


HANDING DOWN: 11. HE TAKES HIS TIME       
First Line: There's no need to hurry
Last Line: Among the shades and neighbors %of his summer walks, %he finds time %for the perfecting of gifts


HANDING DOWN: 12. THE FERN       
First Line: His intimate the green fern
Last Line: It feeds on the sun and the dirt %and does not hasten. %it has forgotten all deaths


HANDING DOWN: 13. HE IS IN THE HABIT OF THE WORLD       
First Line: The world has finally worn him
Last Line: Among shadows like monuments, %he makes his way down, %loving the earth he will become


HANDING DOWN: 14. THE YOUNG MAN, THINKING OF THE OLD       
First Line: While we talk we hear across the town
Last Line: He has gone in the world, visioning %a house worthy of the child %newborn in it


HANDING DOWN: 2. THE CONVERSATION       
First Line: Speaker and hearer, words
Last Line: With potted plants, the foliage %staining and shadowing the daylight %as it comes in


HANDING DOWN: 3. THE OLD MAN IS OLDER IN HISTORY ...       
First Line: I've lived in two countries
Last Line: If I died now, I wouuldn't lose %much. It's you young ones %I worry about.'


HANDING DOWN: 4. HE LOOKS OUT THE WINDOW AT THE TOWN       
First Line: Beyond the windows, past the fern
Last Line: Depth and recognition-is the mind's %discovery of itself in its place %in a new morning


HANDING DOWN: 5. HE HAS LIVED THROUGH ANOTHER NIGHT       
First Line: He begins the kowledge
Last Line: Of the still town %and in the country thickets %for miles. Their voices %reach to the end of the dar


HANDING DOWN: 6. THE NEW HOUSE       
First Line: At the foot of his long shadow
Last Line: For a man knowing evil-how surely %it grows up in any ground and makes seed- %the building of a hous


HANDING DOWN: 7. THE HEAVINESS OF HIS WISDOM       
First Line: The incredible happens, he knows
Last Line: Half hidden in it


HANDING DOWN: 8. A WILDERNESS STARTS TOWARD HIM       
First Line: The old man lives on
Last Line: Ahead of him he sees, as in an old %forefather's prophetic dream, %the woods take back the land


HANDING DOWN: 9. THOUGH HE CAN'T KNOW DEATH,...       
First Line: Knowing he must learn to die
Last Line: Why should a man eighty-one years old %care how he looks?'


HER FIRST CALF       
First Line: Her fate seizes her and brings her
Last Line: Have been prepared. They have always %known each other


HERE WHERE THE DARK-SOURCED STREAM BRIMS UP       


HERE WHERE THE WORLD IS BEING MADE       


HERON       
First Line: While the summer's growth kept me
Last Line: Suddenly I know I have passed across %to a shore where I do not live


HIDDEN SINGER       
First Line: The gods are less
Last Line: But as a little bird %hidden in the leaves %who sings quietly %and waits %and sings


HISTORY       
First Line: The crops were made, the leaves
Last Line: O muse, be brought to mind


HOMECOMING       
First Line: One faith is bondage. Two
Last Line: Safe beyond the bounds %of what we know. O love, %open. Show me %my country. Take me home


HORSES    Poem Text    
First Line: When I was a boy here
Subject(s): Environment; Farm Life; Fields; Environmental Protection; Ecology; Conservation; Agriculture; Farmers; Pastures; Meadows; Leas


HORSES       
First Line: When I was a boy here
Last Line: A song, whatever is said
Subject(s): Environment; Farm Life; Fields


HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO MAKE THE WOODS?       
Last Line: Into the ease of sight, the brotherhood of eye and leaf
Subject(s): Environment; Trees


HOW MANY HAVE RELINGUISHED       


HOW TO BE A POET (TO REMIND MYSELF)    Poem Text    
First Line: Make a place to sit down
Last Line: The silence from which it came
Subject(s): Poetry & Poets


I GO AMONG TREES AND SIT STILL       


I GO FROM THE WOODS INTO THE CLEARED FIELD       
Last Line: Thousands of years to make it what it was, %beginning now, in our few troubled days
Subject(s): Nature


IN A CREASE OF THE HILL       


IN A MOTEL PARKING LOT       
First Line: The poem is important, but
Last Line: You did not get


IN MEMORY: STUART EGNAL       
First Line: A high wooded hill near florence, an april
Last Line: Strangeness--here in another valley %you never lived to cometo--half %a dialogue, keeping on


IN RAIN       
First Line: I go in under foliage
Last Line: In an easy bed tonight


IN THIS WORLD       
First Line: The hill pasture, an open place among the trees
Last Line: Men are making plans, wearing themselves out, %spending their lives, in order to kill each other


INDEPENDENCE DAY    Poem Text    
First Line: Between painting a roof yesterday and the hay
Last Line: Whistle opens in the air, broad and pointed like a leaf
Subject(s): Christianity; Holidays; Religion; Theology


INDEPENDENCE DAY       
First Line: Between painting a roof yesterday and the hay
Last Line: In the light like a curling vine and the bobwhite's %whistleopens in the air, broad and pointed as a
Subject(s): Christianity; Holidays; Religion


JAYBER CROW'S SILLY SONG ABOUT JESUS       
First Line: What make of car will jesus drive %when he comes back again?
Last Line: We will foresee him as we are, %and every time be wrong


JULY, 1773       
First Line: Seventeen seventy one
Last Line: Left a tomahawk and fish gig %at a fine spring,and marked %agum sapling at that place


JUNE WIND    Poem Text    
First Line: Light and wind are running


JUNE WIND       
First Line: Light and wind are running
Last Line: As though the hill had %melted and now flowed


KENTUCKY RIVER JUNCTION    Poem Text    
First Line: Clumsy at first, fitting together
Subject(s): Nature


KENTUCKY RIVER JUNCTION       
First Line: Clumsy at first, fitting together
Last Line: The bright day %shines in my head %like a coin %on the bed of a stream. %you left %your welcome


LAW THAT MARRIES ALL THINGS       
First Line: The cloud is free only
Last Line: The redbird sings, %here here here here
Subject(s): Religion


LEADER       
First Line: Head like a big %watermelon
Last Line: Frequently thumped %and still not ripe


LETTER: 1.       
First Line: To search for what belongs where it is
Last Line: I flow from your bonds, a stream risen %over the hold of its stones


LETTER: 2.       
First Line: Turning always in my mind toward you
Last Line: Beauties I will not know in satisfaction, %but in the sharp clarity of desire


LETTER: 3.       
First Line: In place with you, as I come and go
Last Line: Now in the long curve of a journey %I spin a single strand, carried away %by what must bring me home


LIFE FORGIVES ITS DEPREDATIONS       


LILIES       
First Line: Hunting them, a man must sweat, bear
Last Line: Found, unfound, they breathe their light %into the mind, year after year


LILIES       
First Line: Amid the gray trunks of ancient trees we found
Last Line: For all that time. Does my land have the health %of this, where nothing falls but into life?


LONG HUNTER       
First Line: Passed through the dark wall
Last Line: Like a pod, and from the height %he saw a place green as welcome %on whose still water the sky lay w


LOWLAND GROVE       
First Line: And now the lowland grove is down, the trees
Last Line: This ground to pray again its finest prayer
Subject(s): Nature; Trees


MAD FARMER IN THE CITY       
First Line: As my first blow against it, I would not stay
Last Line: Its streets and corners fading like mist at sunrise %above groves and meadows and planted fields


MAD FARMER MANIFESTO: THE FIRST AMENDMENT       
First Line: That is the glimmering vein
Last Line: Or fail to bear its weight


MAD FARMER REVOLUTION       
First Line: The mad farmer, the thirsty one
Last Line: With farmers and their brides sowing %and reaping. When they died %they became two spirits of the wo
Subject(s): Christianity; Farm Life; Religion


MAD FARMER'S LOVE SONG       
First Line: O when the world's at peace
Last Line: O and I may go down %several times before that


MAD FARMER, FLYING THE FLAG OF ROUGH BRANCH, SECEDES FROM THE       
First Line: From the union of power and money
Last Line: And the croak of the night heron over the river at dark


MAN BORN TO FARMING       
First Line: The grower of trees, the gardener, the man born to farming
Last Line: Like a vine clinging in the sunlight, and like water %descending in the dark?


MAN WALKING AND SINGING: 1       
First Line: It is no longer necessary to sleep
Last Line: I know they know as surely as I live my death %exists, and has my shape


MAN WALKING AND SINGING: 2       
First Line: But the man so forcefully walking
Last Line: Of all he sees, %leaving the street behind him %runged as a ladder %or the staff of a song


MAN WALKING AND SINGING: 3       
First Line: To his death? Yes
Last Line: As though no flight %or dying could equal him %at his momentary song


MANIFESTO: THE MAD FARMER LIBERATION FRONT       
First Line: Love the quick profit, the annual raise
Last Line: Practice resurrection


MARCH SNOW       
First Line: The morning lights
Last Line: Under the still fall of the snow %only the river, like a brown earth, %taking all falling darkly %in


MARRIAGE    Poem Text    
First Line: How hard it is for me, who live
Subject(s): Love, Marital


MARRIAGE       
First Line: How hard it is for me, who live
Last Line: We hurt, and are hurt, %and have each other for healing. %itis healing. It is never whole


MARRIAGE SONG       
First Line: In january cold, the year's short light
Last Line: Our mary in her day of days


MARRIAGE, AN ELEGY       
First Line: They lived long, and were faithful
Last Line: The serene gravity of the rain, %the hill's passage to the sea. %after long striving, perfect ease


MAY SONG       
First Line: For whatever is let go
Last Line: Making use %of the useless-a beauty %we have less than not %deserved


MEADOW       
First Line: In the town's graveyard the oldest plot now frees itself
Last Line: Ungrieved, the town's ancestry fits the earth. They become %a meadow, their alien marble grown nativ


MEDITATION IN THE SPRING RAIN    Poem Text    
First Line: In the april rain I climbed up to drink
Subject(s): Christianity; Religion; Theology


MEDITATION IN THE SPRING RAIN       
First Line: In the april rain I climbed up to drink
Last Line: For a time I was lost and free, speechless %in the multitudinous assembling of his word
Subject(s): Christianity; Religion


MEETING       
First Line: In a dream I meet
Last Line: I been eating peaches %off some mighty fine trees.'


MORNING'S NEWS       
First Line: To moralize the state, they drag out a man
Last Line: And the summer's garden continues its descent %through me, toward the ground
Subject(s): Christianity; Religion


MUSIC       
First Line: I employ the blind mandolin player
Last Line: This is not the pursuing rhythm %of a blind cane pecking in the sun, %but is a singing in a dark pla


MY GREAT-GRANDFATHER'S SLAVES       
First Line: Deep in the back ways of my mind I see them
Last Line: I am owned by the blood of all of them %who ever were owned by my blood. %we cannot be free of each


NECESSITY OF FAITH       
First Line: True harvests no mere intent may reap
Last Line: But they live through the night by grace %that no intention can efface


NEW ROOF       
First Line: On the housetop, the floor of the boundless
Last Line: Thus like a little ledge a piece of my history %has come between me and the sky


NINE VERSES OF THE SAME SONG    Poem Text    
First Line: The ear finely attuned


NOW THOUGH THE SEASON WARMS       


OBSERVANCE       
First Line: The god of the river leans
Last Line: His mind contains %the river as its banks %contain it, in a single act %receiving it and letting it


OLD ELM TREE BY THE RIVER       
First Line: Shrugging in the flight of its leaves
Last Line: The strength by which we held to it %and stood, the daylight over it %a mighty blessing we cannot be
Subject(s): Environment; Trees


ON THE HILL LATE AT NIGHT       
First Line: The ripe grassheads bend in the starlight
Last Line: The hill has grown to me like a foot. %until I lift the earth I cannot move


ONE OF US       
First Line: Must another poor body, brought
Last Line: Of us, here with us, who now is gone


OUR CHILDREN, COMING OF AGE       
First Line: In the great circle, dancing in
Last Line: Our names will flutter %on these hills like little fires


OUR CHRISTMAS TREE    Poem Text    
First Line: Our christmas tree is
Last Line: Christ come into the world
Subject(s): Christmas Trees; Nativity, The


OUR CHRISTMAS TREE       
First Line: Our christmas tree is
Last Line: Christ come into the world
Subject(s): Christmas


OUR HOUSEHOLD FOR THE TIME MADE RIGHT       


OVER THE RIVER IN LOUD FLOOD       


PASSING THE STRAIT: 1.       
First Line: Forsaking all others, we
Last Line: Anywhere. Seed or song, work %or sleep, no matter the need, %what we let fall, we keep


PASSING THE STRAIT: 2.       
First Line: The dance passes beyond us
Last Line: The woven circuits of desire, %which leaving here arrive here. %love moves in a bright sphere


PASSING THE STRAIT: 3.       
First Line: Past the strait of kept faith
Last Line: Circle of all lovers. On this height %our labor changes into flight


PASTURE, BLEACHED AND COLD TWO WEEKS AGO       


PEACE OF WILD THINGS       
First Line: When despair for the world grows in me
Last Line: I rest in the grace of the world, and am free
Subject(s): Animals; Anxiety; Despair; Nature; Peace; Wilderness


PLAN       
First Line: My old friend, the owner
Last Line: And the new boat %and our sudden thought %of the water shining %under the morning fog


PLANTING CROCUSES: 1       
First Line: I made an opening
Last Line: Sleep and silence, to new %heat, a new rising, %a yellow flower opening %in the sound of bees


PLANTING CROCUSES: 2       
First Line: Deathly was the giving
Last Line: Of that possibility %to a motion of the world %that would bring it %out, bright, in time


PLANTING CROCUSES: 3       
First Line: My mind pressing in
Last Line: Bloom, I thought of you, %glad there is no escape, %it is this we will be %turning and %returning to


PLANTING TREES    Poem Text    
First Line: In the mating of trees
Last Line: And the sound of the wind in them
Subject(s): Environment; Trees; Environmental Protection; Ecology; Conservation


PLANTING TREES       
First Line: In the mating of trees
Last Line: Shining, and their shadows on the ground, %and the sound of the wind in them
Subject(s): Environment; Trees


POEM       
First Line: Willing to die
Last Line: Your will, keep still %until, moved %by what moves %all else, you move


POEM FOR J.    Poem Text    
First Line: What she made in her body is broken
Last Line: And made light, the dark seed of her pain
Subject(s): Pregnancy


POEM FOR J.       
First Line: What she made in her body is broken
Last Line: She has taken back into her flesh, %and made light, the dark seed of her pain
Subject(s): Pregnancy


POEM OF THANKS       
First Line: I have been spared another day
Last Line: Through you I rise, and you %through me, into the joy %we make, but may not keep


PORCH OVER THE RIVER       
First Line: In the dusk of the river, the wind
Last Line: With the water's inward life. What has %made it so?--a quietness in it %no question can be asked in
Subject(s): Rivers


POSITION       
First Line: I'm philosophically opposed to iced drinks
Last Line: Last should equal first, for a man who thinks


PRAISE       
First Line: His memories lived in the place
Last Line: Keeps with me in harsh days, %the shell of his breath dimming away %three summers in the earth


PRAISE: 1       
First Line: Don't think of it
Last Line: Be here. Here %is the root and stem %unappraisable %on whose life %your life depends


PRAISE: 2       
First Line: Be here
Last Line: Comes to, to leave %with a sound %that is a part %of local speech


PRAYER AFTER EATING    Poem Text    
First Line: I have taken in the light


PRAYER AFTER EATING       
First Line: I have taken in the light
Last Line: May I be worthy of my meat


PRAYERS AND SAYINGS OF THE MAD FARMER    Poem Text    
First Line: It is presumptuous and irresponsible to pray for other people. A
Last Line: Grown immortal in his mind
Subject(s): Farm Life; Prayer; Agriculture; Farmers


PRAYERS AND SAYINGS OF THE MAD FARMER       
First Line: It is presumptuous and irresponsible to pray for other people. A
Last Line: Make the human race a better head. Make the world a better %piece of ground
Subject(s): Farm Life


PURIFICATION       
First Line: At start of spring I open a trench
Last Line: The deathless earth. Beneath that seal %the old escapes into the new
Subject(s): Christianity; Religion


RAIN       
First Line: It is a day of the earth's renewing without any man's doing or
Last Line: My life stands in place, covered, like a hayrick or a mushroom


RAIN CROW    Poem Text    
First Line: The pendulum sun swung


REASSURER       
First Line: A people in the throes of national prosperity, who
Last Line: Has been wakened in the night by a dream of the calamity of peace
Subject(s): Environment; Nature


RECOGNITION       
First Line: You put on my clothes
Last Line: Going through, the lyrical %changes, the strangeness %in which I know again %what I have known befor


RECORD       
First Line: My old friend tells us how the country changed
Last Line: Dead at last, it will be too late


REMEMBERING MY FATHER       
First Line: What did I learn from him?
Last Line: And I have not forgot


REQUIEM; OWEN FLOOD, JANUARY 13, 1920 - MARCH 27, 1974       
First Line: We will see no more
Last Line: Returning, and long rest


RETURNING       
First Line: I was walking in a dark valley
Last Line: The sheen of bounty was on the grass, %and the spring of the year had come


RIPENING    Poem Text    
First Line: The longer we are together
Last Line: To know you by the signs of this world
Subject(s): Men


RIPENING       
First Line: The longer we are together
Last Line: The bitter way to better prayer, we have %the sweetness of ripening. How sweet %to know you by the s
Subject(s): Men


RISING: 1.       
First Line: Having danced until nearly
Last Line: That social life don't get %down the row, does it, boy?'


RISING: 2.       
First Line: I worked by will then, he
Last Line: He troubled me to become %what I had not thought to be


RISING: 3.       
First Line: The boy must learn the man
Last Line: Starts from, journeys in, %returns to: the fields %whose past and potency are one


RISING: 4.       
First Line: And that is our story
Last Line: In spring of the year, %going to the fields, %visionary of seed and desire, %is timeless as a star


RISING: 5.       
First Line: Any man's death could end the story
Last Line: There is nowhere to stand but in absence, %no life but in the fateful light


RISING: 6.       
First Line: Ended, a story is history
Last Line: In all springs. Nameless, %ancient, many-lived, we reach %through ages with the seed


RIVER BRIDGED AND FORGOT       
First Line: Bridged and forgot, the river
Last Line: Past holding or beholding, %in whose flexing signature %all the dooms assemble %and become the lives
Subject(s): Religion


RONSARD'S LAMENT FOR THE CUTTING OF THE FOREST OF GASTINE       
First Line: Old forest, tall household of the birds, no more
Last Line: All forms will pass, matter alone remain
Subject(s): Environment; Trees


SABBATH, 1985, VI    Poem Text    
First Line: We have walked so many times, my boy
Last Line: Nothing of the season but to be
Subject(s): Forests; Fields; Nature; Conservation


SABBATH, 1985, VIII    Poem Text    
First Line: I go from the woods into the cleared field
Last Line: Beginning now, in our few troubled days
Subject(s): Time


SABBATH: 1985, V    Poem Text    
First Line: How long does it take to make the woods?
Last Line: Into the ease of sight, the brotherhood of eye and leaf
Subject(s): Forests


SABBATHS       
First Line: After the slavery of the body, dumbfoundment
Last Line: In light's ordinary miracle
Subject(s): Environment


SABBATHS 1989       
First Line: In early morning we awaken from
Last Line: The stone, the light upon the stone; %and day and dream are one


SABBATHS 1994       
First Line: I leave the warmth of the stove
Last Line: And now this leaf lies brightly on the ground


SABBATHS 1998       
First Line: Whatever happens, %those who have learned
Last Line: So, I would do it all again


SABBATHS 2001       
First Line: He wakes in darkness. All around
Last Line: Forever, this instant, and may be


SABBATHS, 1985, VII    Poem Text    
First Line: Where the great trees were felled
Last Line: The woods' floor starred with bloom
Subject(s): Nature; Deforestation


SABBATHS, SELS.       
First Line: Where the great trees were felled
Last Line: They have no fear. Their fate %is faith. Birdsong %is all they've wanted, all along
Subject(s): Nature


SABBATHS: 1979 II       


SABBATHS: 1980 VI       


SABBATHS: 1985 I    Poem Text    
First Line: Not again in this flesh will I see
Last Line: Is here, shaping the seasons of his wild will
Subject(s): Christianity; Religion; Theology


SABBATHS: 1985 I       
First Line: Not again in this flesh will I see
Last Line: Is here, shaping the seasons of his wild will
Subject(s): Christianity; Religion


SABBATHS: 1985 III    Poem Text    
First Line: Awaked from the persistent dream
Last Line: We are all praising, praying to the light we are, but cannot know
Subject(s): Christianity; Religion; Theology


SABBATHS: 1985 III       
First Line: Awaked from the persistent dream
Last Line: The lights we are, but cannot know
Subject(s): Christianity; Religion


SABBATHS: 2001    Poem Text    
First Line: He waits in darkness all around
Subject(s): Sabbath; Sunday


SATISFACTIONS OF THE MAD FARMER       
First Line: Growing weather; enough rain
Last Line: I have always expected to be %a great relisher of this world its good %grown immortal in his mind


SEEDS       
First Line: The seeds begin abstract as their species
Last Line: Like a tree, he has given roots %to the earth, and stands free


SERENADE IN BLACK    Poem Text    
First Line: This crow, my love, black bird


SETTING OUT       
First Line: Even love must pass through loneliness
Last Line: Lead him on. He can no longer be at home, %he cannot return,unless he begin %the circle that first w


SEVENTEEN YEARS       
First Line: They are here again
Last Line: They open our eyes %to the dark, and we marry again


SIGHTS       
First Line: The tourists, having come from afar
Last Line: Taking pictures of each other


SILENCE       
First Line: Though the air is full of singing
Last Line: Like a root. Let me say %and not mourn: the world %lives in the death of speech %and sings there


SILENCE       
First Line: What must a man do to be at home in the world?
Last Line: Before him, weeds bearing flowers, and the dry wind %rain! What songs he will hear!


SIX DAYS OF WORK ARE SPENT       


SLEEP       
First Line: I love to lie down weary
Last Line: Under the stalk of sleep %growing slowly out of my head, %the dark leaves meshing


SLIP       
First Line: The river takes the land, and leaves nothing
Last Line: On what remains. Seed will sprout in the scar. %though death is in the healing, it will heal
Subject(s): Christianity; Religion


SLOWLY, SLOWLY THEY RETURN       


SMOKE IS BETTER THAN A SMUDGE       
First Line: Sex, it appears, has just about %run its course. The rich
Last Line: To tobacco's timely intercon- %glomerization with food


SNAKE       
First Line: At the end of october %I found on the floor of the woods
Last Line: Big with a death to nourish him %during a long sleep
Subject(s): Farm Life


SOME FURTHER WORDS       
First Line: Let me be plain with you, dear readers
Last Line: Myself, though for realization we %may wait a thousand or a million years


SONATA AT PAYNE HOLLOW    Poem Text    
First Line: We never stopped here before
Last Line: Out of all the time we were apart
Subject(s): Music & Musicians; Play


SONATA AT PAYNE HOLLOW       
First Line: We never stopped here before
Last Line: Out of all the time we lived apart
Subject(s): Music And Musicians; Play


SONG       
First Line: I tell my love in rhyme
Last Line: With their bright songs depart. %then we will go without art, %without measure, or words


SONG (1)       
First Line: In ignorance of the source, our want
Last Line: Truth keeps us though we do not know it. %o spirit, our desolation is your praise


SONG (2)       
First Line: My gentle hill, I rest
Last Line: In a place warmed by my body, %where by ardor, grace, work, %and loss, I belong


SONG (3)       
First Line: I stood and heard the steps of the city
Last Line: Of flesh with flesh, time with time, our bliss, %the earthly song that heavenly is


SONG (4)       
First Line: Within the circles of our lives
Last Line: And then we turn aside, alone, %out of the sunlight gone %into the darker circles of return


SONG IN A YEAR OF CATASTROPHE       
First Line: I began to be followed by a voice saying
Last Line: And at last came fully into the ease %and the joy of that place,%all my lost ones returning


SONG SPARROW SINGING IN THE FALL       
First Line: Somehow it has all
Last Line: I will go free of other %singing, I will go %into the silence %of my songs, to hear %this song clear


SORREL FILLY       
First Line: The songs of small birds fade away
Last Line: And look at her a long time, glad %to have recovered what is lost %in the exchange of something for


SOWING       
First Line: In the stilled place that once was a road going down
Last Line: I claim, and act, and am mingled in the fate of the world


SPARROW       
First Line: A sparrow is
Last Line: Reflex of his flesh %out of sight, %leaving his perfect %absence without a thought


SPRINGS       
First Line: In a country without satins or shrines
Last Line: Of the place, the deep rock, sweetness %out of the dark. He bent and drank %in bondage to the ground
Subject(s): Rivers


STANDING GROUND       
First Line: However just and anxious I have been
Last Line: Better than any argument is to rise at dawn %and pick dew-wet red berries in a cup


STAR       
First Line: Flying at night, above the clouds, all earthmarks spruned
Last Line: I have no pleasure here, nothing to desire. %and then I see one light below there like a star


STAY HOME       
First Line: I will wait here in the fields
Last Line: I am at home. Don't come with me. %you stay home too


STONES       
First Line: I owned a slope full of stones
Last Line: They have taught me the weariness that loves the ground, %and I must prepare a fitting silence


STORM       
First Line: We lay in our bed as in a tomb
Last Line: The sun at noon had never made it shine


STRAIT: 1.       
First Line: The valley holds its shadow
Last Line: Of men crossing and crossing %the blank curve of heaven. I hear %the branches clashing in the wind


STRAIT: 2.       
First Line: I have come to the end
Last Line: I am well acquainted now %among the dead. Only the past %knows me. In solitude %who will teach me?


STRAIT: 3.       
First Line: The world's one song is passing
Last Line: The dead, or what will die. It is light %though it goes in the dark. It goes %ahead, summoning. What


STRAIT: 4.       
First Line: Sitting among the bluebells
Last Line: Of his throat, the song I live by %stirred my mind. I said: %'by sweetness alone it survives.'


SUMMER ENDS, AND IT IS TIME       


SUPPLANTING       
First Line: Where the road came, no longer bearing men
Last Line: Through the flame, and is lightened of us, and is glad


SUPPLICATION       
First Line: O may our minds not altogether wither
Last Line: We give up sex and resume smoking


SYCAMORE       
First Line: In the place that is my own place, whose earth
Last Line: I see that it stands in its place, and feeds upon it, %and is fed upon, and is native, and maker
Subject(s): Christianity; Religion


TERRAPIN       
First Line: The terrapin and his house are one. %though he may go, he's never gone
Last Line: Ponder this wonder under his dome %who, wandering, is always home


TESTAMENT       
First Line: Dear relatives and friends, when my last breath
Last Line: Look on their peace, and rejoice


THE APPLE TREE    Poem Text    
First Line: In the essential prose
Subject(s): Apple Trees


THE ARISTOCRACY    Poem Text    
First Line: Paradise might have appeared here


THE BARN    Poem Text    
First Line: While we unloaded the hay fron the truck, building
Last Line: And we rest, having done what men do best
Subject(s): Barns


THE BEST REWARD    Poem Text    
First Line: The best reward in going to the woods
Last Line: Or answered by a certain one, or two
Subject(s): Nature; Solitude; Loneliness


THE BLUE ROBE    Poem Text    
First Line: How joyful to be together, alone
Subject(s): Weddings


THE BROKEN GROUND    Poem Text    
First Line: The opening out and out
Subject(s): Farm Life; Agriculture; Farmers


THE BUILDINGS    Poem Text    
First Line: The buildings are all womanly. Their roofs
Last Line: In its welcome, a vine with yellow flowers shading the door
Subject(s): Buildings & Builders


THE BURIAL OF THE OLD    Poem Text    
First Line: The old, whose bodies encrust their lives
Subject(s): Death; Dead, The


THE COUNTRY OF MARRIAGE    Poem Text    
First Line: I dream of you walking at night along the streams
Subject(s): Love


THE COUNTRY TOWN IN EARLY SUNDAY MORNING    Poem Text    
First Line: The town has grown here, angular
Subject(s): Cities And Towns


THE CURRENT    Poem Text    
First Line: Having once put his hand into the ground
Last Line: His hand in the dark as by a hand
Subject(s): Spring


THE DANCE    Poem Text    
First Line: I would have each couple turn
Last Line: Love changes, and in change is true
Subject(s): Dancing & Dancers; Love - Marital; Wedded Love; Marriage - Love


THE DEAD CALF    Poem Text    
First Line: Dead at the pasture edge
Subject(s): Death-animals


THE GRANDMOTHER       
First Line: Better born than married, misled
Subject(s): Labor & Laborers; Work; Workers


THE GUEST    Poem Text    
First Line: Washed into the doorway
Last Line: Of my knowing, but not asked
Subject(s): Christianity; Guests; Religion; Visiting; Theology


THE HABIT OF WAKING    Poem Text    
First Line: Snow, melting, leaves the landscape pied


THE HANDING DOWN: 1. THE CONVERSATION    Poem Text    
First Line: Speaker and hearer, words
Subject(s): Ancestors & Ancestry; Heritage; Heredity


THE LAW THAT MARRIES ALL THINGS    Poem Text    
First Line: The cloud is free only
Last Line: Here here here here
Subject(s): Religion; Theology


THE LOWLAND GROVE    Poem Text    
First Line: And now the lowland grove is down, the trees
Last Line: Of year with year, time with returning time
Subject(s): Nature; Trees


THE MAD FARMER REVOLUTION    Poem Text    
First Line: The mad farmer, the thirsty one
Last Line: Practice resurrection
Subject(s): Christianity; Farm Life; Religion; Agriculture; Farmers; Theology


THE MORNING'S NEWS    Poem Text    
First Line: To moralize the state, they drag out a man
Last Line: Through me, toward the ground
Subject(s): Christianity; Religion; Theology


THE OLD ELM TREE BY THE RIVER    Poem Text    
First Line: Shrugging in the flight of its leaves
Last Line: A mighty blessing we cannot bear for long
Subject(s): Environment; Trees; Environmental Protection; Ecology; Conservation


THE PEACE OF WILD THINGS    Poem Text    
First Line: When despair for the world grows in me
Subject(s): Animals; Anxiety; Despair; Nature; Peace; Wilderness


THE PORCH OVER THE RIVER    Poem Text    
First Line: In the dusk of the river, the wind
Last Line: It has grown too dark to see
Subject(s): Rivers


THE REAL WORK    Poem Text    
First Line: It may be that when we no longer know what to do


THE REASSURER    Poem Text    
First Line: A people in the throes of national prosperity, who
Last Line: Has been wakened in the night by a dream of the calamity of peace
Subject(s): Environment; Nature; Environmental Protection; Ecology; Conservation


THE RIVER BRIDGED AND FORGOT    Poem Text    
First Line: Bridged and forgot, the river
Last Line: Is this memory or promise?
Subject(s): Religion; Rivers; Theology


THE RIVER VOYAGERS    Poem Text    
First Line: Where the light's bells ring


THE SLIP    Poem Text    
First Line: The river takes the land, and leaves nothing
Subject(s): Christianity; Religion; Theology


THE SNAKE       
First Line: At the end of october / I found on the floor of the woods
Subject(s): Farm Life; Agriculture; Farmers


THE SPRINGS    Poem Text    
First Line: In a country without satins or shrines
Last Line: In bondage to the ground
Subject(s): Rivers


THE SYCAMORE    Poem Text    
First Line: In the place that is my own place, whose earth
Subject(s): Christianity; Religion; Theology


THE TERRAPIN    Poem Text    
First Line: The terrapin and his house are one


THE VACATION    Poem Text    
First Line: Once there was a man who filmed his vacation
Subject(s): Vacation; Nature; Vacation


THE VACATION    Poem Text    
First Line: Once there was a man who filmed his vacation
Subject(s): Nature; Vacation


THE WAY OF PAIN    Poem Text    
First Line: For parents, the only way
Subject(s): Abraham; Christianity; Crucifixion; Pain; Parents; Jesus Christ - Crucifixion; Suffering; Misery; Parenthood


THE WHEEL       
First Line: At the first strokes of the fiddle bow
Subject(s): Christianity; Dancing & Dancers; Religion; Time; Wheels; Theology


THE WILD ROSE    Poem Text    
First Line: Sometimes hidden from me
Last Line: Again what I chose before
Subject(s): Christianity; Religion; Theology


THEY    Poem Text    
First Line: I see you down there, white-haired


THEY       
First Line: I see you down there, white-haired
Last Line: Once the they whom we remember


THEY SIT TOGETHER ON THE PORCH    Poem Text    
Subject(s): Aging; Togetherness


THIEF       
First Line: I think of us lying asleep
Last Line: Shining-our eyes granted to the light %again, by what chance or price %we do not even know


THIRD POSSIBILITY       
First Line: I fired the brush pile by the creek
Last Line: Between the two, and liked them both
Subject(s): Christianity; Religion


THIRTY MORE YEARS       
First Line: When I was a young man
Last Line: Smaller, one among the grasses


THOUGHT OF SOMETHING ELSE       
First Line: A spring wind blowing
Last Line: The spaces among the leaves


THREE ELEGIAC POEMS; HARRY ERDMAN PERRY, 1861-1965: 2       
First Line: I stand at the cistern in front of the old barn
Last Line: Only his hands, quiet on the sheet, keep %a painful resemblance to what they no longer are


THREE ELEGIAC POEMS; HARRY ERDMAN PERRY, 1881-1945: 3       
First Line: He goes free of the earth
Last Line: He's hidden among all that is, %and cannot be lost


THREE ELEGIAC POEMS; HARRY ERDMAN PERRY, 1881-1965: 1       
First Line: Let him escape hospital and doctor
Last Line: Let him go like one familiar with the way %into the wooded and tracked and %furrowed hill, his body


THROWING AWAY THE MAIL       
First Line: Nothing is simple
Last Line: Thus, throwing away %the mail, I exchange %the complexity of duty %for the simplicity of guilt


THRUSH SONG, STREAM SONG, HOLY LOVE       
Last Line: The light one figured cloth of song


TIRED MAN LEAVES HIS LABOR       
First Line: A tired man leaves his labor, felt
Last Line: Here in this passing time and place


TO A SIBERIAN WOODSMAN (AFTER LOOKING AT SOME PICTURES IN A MAGAZINE)    Poem Text     Recitation
First Line: You lean at ease in your warm house at night after supper
Last Line: Comes up the path from the river in the evening, for joy
Subject(s): Siberia


TO A SIBERIAN WOODSMAN (AFTER LOOKING AT SOME PICTURES IN A MAGAZINE)       
First Line: You lean at ease in your warm house at night after supper
Last Line: Comes up the path from the river in the evening, for joy
Subject(s): Siberia


TO GARY SNYDER    Poem Text    
First Line: After we saw the wild ducks
Last Line: By division we speak, out of wonder
Subject(s): Snyder, Gary (b. 1930)


TO GARY SNYDER       
First Line: After we saw the wild ducks
Last Line: Wavering in long lines, high, %southward, out of sight. %by division we speak, out of wonder
Subject(s): Snyder, Gary (b. 1930)


TO GO BY SINGING       
First Line: He comes along the street, singing
Last Line: To be strong. His song doesn't impede the morning %or changeit, except by freely adding itself


TO KNOW THE DARK       
First Line: To go in the dark with a light is to know the light
Last Line: And find that the dark, too, blooms and sings, %and is traveled by dark feet and dark wings


TO LONG FOR WHAT CAN BE FULFILLED IN TIME       


TO LONG FOR WHAT ETERNITY FULFILLS       


TO MY CHILDREN, FEARING FOR THEM    Poem Text    
First Line: Terrors are to come. The earth
Last Line: Though the pain of them is on me
Subject(s): Family Life; Parents; Relatives; Parenthood


TO MY CHILDREN, FEARING FOR THEM       
First Line: Terrors are to come. The earth
Last Line: Your eyes turning toward me, %can I wish your lives unmade %though the pain of them is on me
Subject(s): Family Life; Parents


TO MY MOTHER    Poem Text    
First Line: I was your rebellious son
Subject(s): Mothers & Sons


TO MY MOTHER       
First Line: I was your rebellious son
Last Line: And all is undismayed


TO SIT AND LOOK AT LIGHT-FILLED LEAVES       


TO TANYA AT CHRISTMAS    Poem Text    
First Line: Forgive me, my delight
Last Line: That rises on all I know
Subject(s): Christianity; Religion; Theology


TO TANYA AT CHRISTMAS       
First Line: Forgive me, my delight
Last Line: And song. The song will tell %how old love sweetens the fields
Subject(s): Christianity; Religion


TO THE HOLY SPIRIT       
First Line: O thou, far off and here, whole and broken
Last Line: Whose truth is light and dark, mute though spoken, %by the wide grace show me thy narrow gate


TO THE UNSEEABLE ANIMAL    Poem Text    
First Line: Being, whose flesh dissolves
Last Line: Keeps us near you
Subject(s): Christianity; Religion; Theology


TO THE UNSEEABLE ANIMAL       
First Line: Being, whose flesh dissolves
Last Line: That we do not know you %is your perfection %and our hope. The darkness %keeps us near you
Subject(s): Christianity; Religion


TO THINK OF THE LIFE OF A MAN    Poem Text    
First Line: In a time that breaks


TO THINK OF THE LIFE OF A MAN       
First Line: In a time that breaks
Last Line: Or sold my voice and mind %to the arguments of power %that go blind against %what they would destroy


TO WHAT LISTENS    Poem Text    
First Line: I come to it again
Last Line: I sing– to what listens– again
Subject(s): Religion; Theology


TO WHAT LISTENS       
First Line: I come to it again
Last Line: I sing - to what listens - again
Subject(s): Religion


TO WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS    Poem Text    
First Line: Our kind vandalize the earth
Last Line: The joy and burden of our song
Subject(s): Poetry & Poets; Yeats, William Butler (1865-1939)


TO WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS       
First Line: Our kind vandalize the earth
Last Line: The joy and burden of our song
Subject(s): Poetry And Poets; Yeats, William Butler (1865-1939)


TRAVELING AT HOME       
First Line: Even in a country you know by heart
Last Line: Of accident. To get back before dark %is the art of going


VACATION       
First Line: Once there was a man who filmed his vacation
Last Line: Would not be in it. He would never be in it
Subject(s): Nature; Vacation


VERSES OF THE SAME SONG: 9    Poem Text    
First Line: And my love has come to me
Last Line: No more sorrowing music
Subject(s): Love


VERSES OF THE SAME SONG: 9       
First Line: And my love has come to me
Last Line: My hearing suffers %no more sorrowing music
Subject(s): Love


VISION       
First Line: If we will have the wisdom to survive
Last Line: Its hardship is its possibility
Subject(s): Environment


WALKING ON THE RIVER ICE       
First Line: A man could be a god
Last Line: If the ice wouldn't melt %and he could stand the cold


WALNUT ST., OAK ST., SYCAMORE ST., ETC    Poem Text    
First Line: So this is what happened
Last Line: Where they had gone
Subject(s): Environment; Trees; Environmental Protection; Ecology; Conservation


WALNUT ST., OAK ST., SYCAMORE ST., ETC       
First Line: So this is what happened
Last Line: Where they had gone
Subject(s): Environment; Trees


WANT OF PEACE       
First Line: All goes back to the earth
Last Line: And that has bent my mind %and made me think of darkness %and wish for the dumb life of roots


WARNING TO MY READERS       
First Line: Do not think me gentle
Last Line: Of fits and furies. That I %may have spoken well %at times, is not natural. %a wonder is what it is


WAY OF PAIN       
First Line: For parents, the only way
Last Line: Too bright, unsparing, whole
Subject(s): Abraham; Christianity; Crucifixion; Pain; Parents


WE HAVE WALKED SO MANY TIMES, MY BOY       
Last Line: Nothing of the season but to be
Subject(s): Environment; Fields


WE WHO PRAYED AND WEPT    Poem Text    
Last Line: Send thy necessity
Subject(s): Prayer; Superficiality


WE WHO PRAYED AND WEPT       
Last Line: We have failed thy grace. %lord, I flinch and pray, %send thy necessity
Subject(s): Greed


WET TIME       
First Line: The land is an ark, full of things waiting
Last Line: Drag the bottom. I was not ready for this %parting, my native land putting out to sea


WHAT HARD TRAVAIL GOD DOES IN DEATH       


WHAT IF, IN THE HIGH, RESTFUL SANTUARY       


WHAT STOOD WILL STAND, THOUGH ALL BE FALLEN       


WHAT WE NEED IS HERE    Poem Text    
First Line: Geese appear high over us


WHATEVER IS FORESEEN IN JOY       


WHEEL       
First Line: At the first strokes of the fiddle bow
Last Line: And turn with them in the dance %in the sweet enclosure %of the song, and timeless %is the wheel tha
Subject(s): Christianity; Dancing And Dancers; Religion; Time; Wheels


WHERE       
First Line: The field mouse flickers
Last Line: Kept it the best they could, %thought of its good, %and mourned the good they lost


WHO MAKES A CLEARING MAKES A WORK OF ART       


WHY    Poem Text    
First Line: Why all the embarrassment
Subject(s): Happiness; Joy; Delight


WHY       
First Line: Why all the embarrassment %about being happy?
Last Line: And for the same reasons, %and for others


WILD       
First Line: In the empty lot - a place
Last Line: Its remembrance of what it is


WILD GEESE       
First Line: Horseback on sunday morning
Last Line: For new earth or heaven, but to be %quiet in heart, and in eye %clear. What we need is here


WILD ROSE       
First Line: Sometimes hidden from me
Last Line: Again what I chose before
Subject(s): Christianity; Religion


WINDOW POEMS: 1       
First Line: Window. Window
Last Line: Traveled by snow squalls, %the trees thrashing, %the corn blades driven, %quivering, straight out


WINDOW POEMS: 10       
First Line: Rising, the river
Last Line: Down into, knowing %he goes within the reach %of a dark power: where %the birds are, fish %were


WINDOW POEMS: 11       
First Line: How fine
Last Line: Already his spirit %is with them, with a strange attentiveness, %hearing the grass %quietly tearing


WINDOW POEMS: 12       
First Line: The country where he lives
Last Line: The wind will do without %corners. How difficult %to think of it: miles and miles %and no window


WINDOW POEMS: 13       
First Line: Sometimes he thinks the earth
Last Line: He is given a fragment of time %in this fragment of the world. %he likes it pretty well


WINDOW POEMS: 14       
First Line: The longest night is past
Last Line: In patches on the river bank, %frosty sunlight on the dry corn, %and buds on the water maples %red,


WINDOW POEMS: 15       
First Line: The sycamore gathers
Last Line: The world is greater than its words. %to speak of it the mind must bend


WINDOW POEMS: 16       
First Line: His mind gone from the window
Last Line: He couldn't carry it home %--another who saw %in the flaws of the moon %a woman's face %like a cameo


WINDOW POEMS: 17       
First Line: For a night and a day
Last Line: Is back on the highway, and he sits again %at his window. Another day. %during the night snow fell


WINDOW POEMS: 18       
First Line: The window grows fragile
Last Line: He has known his heart to rise %in glad holocaust against his kind, %and felt hard in thigh and arm


WINDOW POEMS: 19    Poem Text    
First Line: Peace. May he waken
Last Line: Peace to the man in the window
Subject(s): Peace


WINDOW POEMS: 19       
First Line: Peace. May he waken
Last Line: Peace to the porch and the garden. %peace to the man in the window
Subject(s): Peace


WINDOW POEMS: 2    Poem Text    
First Line: The foliage has dropped


WINDOW POEMS: 2       
First Line: The foliage has dropped
Last Line: The wood of trees branching %outward and outward %to the nervousness of twigs, %buds asleep in the a


WINDOW POEMS: 20       
First Line: In the early morning dark
Last Line: Where he sat and looked out, %the earth before him, blessed %by his dream of peace, %bad history beh


WINDOW POEMS: 21       
First Line: He has known a tunnel
Last Line: Far off, another way, he hears %the flute of spring,%an old-style traveler, %wandering through the t


WINDOW POEMS: 22       
First Line: Still sleeping, he heard
Last Line: The window has changed, no longer %remembering, but waiting


WINDOW POEMS: 23       
First Line: He stood on the ground
Last Line: The window is made strange %by these days he has come to. %she is the comfort of the rooms %she leav


WINDOW POEMS: 24       
First Line: His love returns
Last Line: In the woods. There is %no window where she is. %all is clear where the light begins %to dress the b


WINDOW POEMS: 25       
First Line: The bloodroot is white
Last Line: Pursued by whining engines, %missing the world %as they passover it, %every man %his own mosquito


WINDOW POEMS: 26       
First Line: In the heron's eye
Last Line: And the heat of the day %is on them, and the dark %--end and beginning %without end


WINDOW POEMS: 27       
First Line: Now that april with sweet rain
Last Line: Rises. The window has an edge %that is celestial, %where the eyes are surpassed


WINDOW POEMS: 3       
First Line: The window has forty
Last Line: The windy day %on one of the panes %a blown seed, caught %incobweb, beats and beats


WINDOW POEMS: 4       
First Line: This is the wind's eye
Last Line: Winter after winter %at a wrinkle in the eave, %flowing overitself %as it comes and goes, %fluid as


WINDOW POEMS: 5       
First Line: Look in
Last Line: What he has understood %lies behind him %like a road in the woods. He is %a wilderness looking out %


WINDOW POEMS: 6       
First Line: A warm day in december
Last Line: Downpour. As the man works %the weather moves %upon his mind, its dreariness %a kind of comfort


WINDOW POEMS: 7       
First Line: Outside the window
Last Line: Will take. Thus they have %enlightened him. He buys %the seed, to make it free


WINDOW POEMS: 8       
First Line: The river is rising
Last Line: With the trash of the woods %and the trash of towns, %bearing down, and rising


WINDOW POEMS: 9       
First Line: There is a sort of vertical
Last Line: Some pads of paper, %eleven pencils, %a leaky pen, %a jar of ink %are his powers. He'll %never fly


WINTER NIGHT POEM FOR MARY       
First Line: As I started home after dark
Last Line: The spring flowers, or he might not. But I saw him %with hisbasket, going along the hilltop


WINTER NIGHTFALL       
First Line: The fowls speak and sing, settling for the night
Last Line: Outside the walls and on the roof and in the woods %the cold rain falls


WINTER RAIN       
First Line: The leveling of the water, its increase
Last Line: And having waded all the way %across, I look back and see there %on the water the still sky


WINTER WREN IS BACK, QUICK       


WISH TO BE GENEROUS       
First Line: All that I serve will die, all my delights
Last Line: Or regret toward what will be, my life %a patient willing decent into the grass


WOODS    Poem Text    
First Line: I part the out thrusting branches
Last Line: There is flight around me
Subject(s): Blessings; Environment; Trees; Environmental Protection; Ecology; Conservation


WOODS       
First Line: I part the out thrusting branches
Last Line: Though I am heavy %there is flight around me
Subject(s): Blessings; Environment; Trees


WORK SONG    Poem Text    
First Line: By the fall of years I learn
Last Line: And sweat the fields have seasoning
Subject(s): Labor & Laborers; Work; Workers


WORK SONG       
First Line: By the fall of years I learn
Last Line: The end of this is not in sight. %and I come to the waning of the year %weary, the way long
Subject(s): Labor And Laborers


YEAR RELENTS       
First Line: The year relents, and free
Last Line: Unmaking makes the world