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Progymnasmata

Into The Open Sky

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Into the Open Sky

Our autumn leaves descend --
Poplar, sugar maple,
Oak, and black cherry --
The colored-side face down.

Pines half-participate --
They shed (like deer in spring)
Their summer-gathering
Interior needles.

I love them, these old pines:
Their autumn molting time,
Their winter sun diets,
Their shedding summer fluff.

I rake them this morning--
The turned leaves and needles,
The tumbled ends and starts,
Into the big fire,
Into the big smoke,
And into the open sky.

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Updated 10-19-2010 at 02:28 PM by The Comedian (Thoughtful reader feedback)

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Poems

Comments

  1. Dark Muse's Avatar
    Wow I love this! Beautifully done, and it paints such a wonderful picture. I love Autumn.
  2. hack's Avatar
    This is marvelous.
    I really like it.
  3. Buh4Bee's Avatar
    Do you rake before work?

    It is that time again isn't it?
    Nice fall images- Happy Autumn.
  4. The Comedian's Avatar
    Thanks for the kind responses.

    @jersea -- naww -- I did this last weekend.
  5. Silas Thorne's Avatar
    Very evocative! I can smell the burning pine needles, and feel you brush them into a heap. Beautiful stuff!

    I love the closing lines:

    I raked them this morning--
    The turned leaves and needles,
    The tumbled ends and starts,
    Into the big fire,
    Into the big smoke,
    And into the open sky.

    I'm not sure about the third stanza though. The b's and s's somehow seemed a bit belaboured (excuse me! ) , especially in comparison to the other stanzas.

    But still good stuff!
  6. The Comedian's Avatar
    Thanks Silas -- though I can't believe that you found fault with this poem -- the Norton Anthology of American Literature is planning to feature it in its next edition. . . required reading for all college students. . . go figure. . .

    Actually, I think you're right about that second stanza -- that was the point where I changed the direction of the poem, and I think the language came out cumbersome as a result.

    I wanted to write about how pines molt a portion of their needles in preparation for winter and contrast that with the far more common metaphor of the deciduous trees that lose all of their leaves at that time. The metaphor of a half-shedding, paired with the twists of timing (shedding for animals occurs in the spring, but pines shed a portion of their needles in the fall) seemed so ripe to illustrate a moment of understanding.

    But I tossed them all in the fire and walked away. . .

    Thanks for the thoughtful comments.
    Updated 10-13-2010 at 09:46 PM by The Comedian
  7. Silas Thorne's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by The Comedian
    Thanks Silas -- though I can't believe that you found fault with this poem -- the Norton Anthology of American Literature is planning to feature it in its next edition. . . required reading for all college students. . . go figure. . .
    Wow! That's terrific! Sending you a crate of cold beers as we speak.

    Oh well, I'll take back everything I said about the poem then, dude. This one is perfect! hahaha
    Updated 10-04-2010 at 11:41 PM by Silas Thorne