The Trees




The Trees :






Can there be a forest without trees? Where are the trees in this poem, and where do they go?



The trees inside are moving out into the forest,

the forest that was empty all these days

where no bird could sit

no insect hide

no sun bury its feet in shadow

the forest that was empty all these nights

will be full of trees by morning.

All night the roots work

to disengage themselves from the cracks

in the veranda floor.

The leaves strain toward the glass

small twigs stiff with exertion

long-cramped boughs shuffling under the roof

like newly discharged patients

half-dazed, moving

to the clinic doors.

I sit inside, doors open to the veranda

writing long letters

in which I scarcely mention the departure

of the forest from the house.

The night is fresh, the whole moon shines

in a sky still open

the smell of leaves and lichen

still reaches like a voice into the rooms.

My head is full of whispers

which tomorrow will be silent.

Listen. The glass is breaking.

The trees are stumbling forward

into the night. Winds rush to meet them.

The moon is broken like a mirror,

its pieces flash now in the crown

of the tallest oak.



ADRIENNE RICH



Adrienne Rich was born in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A. in 1929. She is the author of nearly twenty volumes of poetry, and has been called a feminist and a radical poet.



The word POETRY originates from a Greek word meaning TO MAKE. A poet is thus a maker and the poem something that is made or created. No single definition of poetry is possible but some characteristic features of poetry may be mentioned. Poetry has a musical quality with rhythm, pitch, metre and it may use figures of speech such as simile and metaphor. While quite a few poems in this selection are in traditional forms, the unit also includes modern poems that are free from formal restrictions.



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