Dark Trees: Jozsef Rippl-Ronai and W S Merwin


The Other Tree

W S Merwin, July 1955, Poetry


It seems that the odour that the dark makes

When the night uncovers its cold, is a green thing.

I have seen the turning light rustle like leaves

And at sundown the birds sink like seeds falling.


Like folded seeds falling from no bough we can see

But out of the veined air and the light’s failing.

Sometimes I have felt there was, not shadow

But a dry branch, above my shoulder growing.


All day growing, and not shadow, and with no wind diverted.

I have not thought of the birds resting there.  I think of them circling

All day in the rocking light, till they are shaken down

To curl blind like kernels, and cluster, like the fruit of sleeping.


You can read the entire poem here.



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