Number 49


Lovers in Winter

The posture of the tree

        Shows the prevailing wind;

And ours, long misery

         When you are long unkind.

But forward, look, we lean--

          Not backward as in doubt--

And still with branches green

          Ride our ill weather out.

--Robert Graves, "Lovers in Winter" in Collected

Poems 1965 (London: Cassell, 1965), p. 152.

Number 48


"Though a human being is 'chemically speaking...a few buckets of water, tied up in a complicated sort of fig-leaf,' still, said Pound, we have our thoughts within us, 'as the thought of a tree is in the seed'."

                                 Hugh Kenner on Ezra Pound in Kenner's book, The Elsewhere Community (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000), p.40.

Number 47

 " (I recall how) Joe Bousquet expressed the intimate space

of a tree: 'Space is nowhere.  Space is inside it like honey in a


                        --Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space

(Boston: Beacon Press, 1969), p. 202. 

Number 46

 Forget the tube of bark,

Alliterative leaves,

Tenacious like a hand,

Gnarled rootage in the dark

Interior of land.

Bright incidental bird

Whose melody is fanned

Among the bundled sheaves,

Wild spool of the winding word,

Reject: and let there be

Only tree.

--From Stanley Kunitz, "Very Tree" in The Collected Poems (New York: W.W. Norton & Co.,  2000), p. 31.

Number 45


I like sitting at the foot of an old tree, above its

teeming roots.

Number 44


Gary, who is fond of the poetry of the late George Oppen (1908-1984), brought me this--from a notice by critic High Kenner, written the year Oppen died.

"The things he sees," wrote Carl Rakosi [a poet-friend of Oppen's]

"feels like the gnarled bark of an oak tree.  The tree is there, too. You can put your weight against it.  It won't give,"

Number 43


In an essay in The Crowning Privilege (1955), poet Robert Graves  spends some time in praise of American modernist poet, e.e.cummings--an unlikely enthusiasm for Graves, the arch classicist and poetic mythologist.  Amusingly, Graves praises cummings for being unabashed "to write, endite and publicly recite so intrinsically corny a sonnet as the one beginning":

i thank You God for most this amazing

day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees

and a blue dream of sky  and for everything

which is natural which is infinite which is yes