Friday, May 9, 2008

An Old-Fashioned Song

John Hollander (1990)

("Nous n'irons plus au bois")

No more walks in the wood:
The trees have all been cut
Down, and where once they stood
Not even a wagon rut
Appears along the path
Low brush is taking over.

No more walks in the wood;
This is the aftermath
Of afternoons in the clover
Fields where we once made love
Then wandered home together
Where the trees arched above,
Where we made our own weather
When branches were the sky.
Now they are gone for good,
And you, for ill, and I
Am only a passer-by.

We and the trees and the way
Back from the fields of play
Lasted as long as we could.
No more walks in the wood.

1 comment:

dan said...

from The Best of the Best American Poetry (1988-1997)

(re:) shucks. Not sure if this one is about nostalgia, fear, or resignation ... and/or the environment. With the repetition of "no more", it almost reads tongue-in-cheek; wagon ruts? I like that it's not particularly grounded; the voice doesn't quite know what it's talking about, so the figurative "walking" becomes so loosely defined it completely falls off.