Friday, December 01, 2006

The Porch over the River

My English teacher lent me a book of poetry by Wendell Berry today, and over the next week or so, you can expect daily posts of poems I find outstanding. So, here is the first, and they will progressively get better until we reach my favorite.

In the dust of the river, the wind
gone, the trees grow still--
the beautiful poise of lightness,
the heavy world pushing toward it.

Beyond, on the face of the water,
lies the reflection of another tree,
inverted, pulsing with the short strokes
of waves the wind has stopped driving.

In a time when men no longer
can imagine the lives of their sons
this is still the world--
the world of my time, the grind

of engines marking the country
like an audible map, the high dark
marked by the flight of me,
light stranger than stars.

The phoebes cross and re-cross
the openings, alert
for what may still be earned
from the light. The whippoorwills

begin, and the frogs. And the dark
falls, again, as it must.
The look of the world withdraws
into the vein of memory.

The mirrored tree, darkening, stirs
with the water's inward life. What has
made it so?--a quietness in it
no question can be asked in.

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