Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Your Wednesday Poetry

What sort of English teacher would I be (for those of you who don't know, I contract teach writing for our local university) if I didn't occasionally improve your minds with some poetry, as well as the occasional thought-provoking quote? Besides, it's an homage to LadyEloise, who first taught me to really appreciate and analyze such things (she was my high school English teacher ... and, actually, the same for several other blog readers! Yes, it's a small town). This poem was in the newspaper this Sunday, and it seemed awfully topical for this blog, beyond the fact that I just liked it.

The Cherry Tree
by David Wagoner (University of Washington professor)
from Crazyhorse, No. 73, Spring 2008

Out of the nursery and into the
where it rooted and survived its
first hard winter,
then a few years of freedom while
it blossomed,
put out its first tentative branches,
the insects and the poisons for insects,
developed strange ideas about its height
and suffered the pruning of its
quirks and clutters,
its self-indulgent thrusts
and the infighting of stems at
cross purposes
year after year. Each April it forgot
why it couldn't do what it had to
and always after blossoms, fruit,
and leaf-fall,
was shown once more what
simply couldn't happen.
Its oldest branches now, the
survivors carved
by knife blades, rain, and wind, are
sending shoots
straight up, blood red, into the
light again.


  1. and may i say i am proud to have had any part in introducing you, benita, kim, hilary and heather to the joy of words! this is a marvelous poem - thanks for introducing me to a new poet!

  2. LadyEloise - you are definitely credited with introducing me to poetry. Shakespeare too! And I must say thank you. Kristin still passes on new authors to me, a number of whom she discovered when doing the bookclub you set up, or simply from class.

  3. on NPR's website at the moment they have this 'six word love story' thread going. apparently there is a book out with this topic, so NPR has challenged people to write a six word description of their love life. it's fun to do - and mine will sound very familiar to my former students - "I'm still looking for Mr. Rochester."

    so - how about it - anyone else want to try? if you go to the NPR website, it is easy to find the link and make your own contribution to the romantic literature of the world!! LE

  4. Hah!! That's a great 6-word love-life description! I must think this over, although I must admit that the first thing that springs to mind doesn't work for me but for Scott and will make Lady Eloise laugh -- "Once I Had a Secret Love," which is a song by Doris Day, and made her think of Scott every time she heard it, because he was (not very) secretly in love with me! Thank you for my daily chuckle! kf