Published on Academy of American Poets (


I whisper to the tree, the tree,
the murmuring Tree
“I might take action”

Is romantic
Snow sun melts into streams increasing in volume
I control with my lips

Around History. Our eyes meet. White ancient
Roar I hear stream-
Side, my invisible dress threatening

A slow death. The rest I want to carry
So I listen
For the tree, and its never quite obsolete magic.


Copyright © 2016 by Rob Schlegel. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on December 13, 2016, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem

“‘Evergreen’ raises a lot of questions for me, in me. With an ambivalent nod to Emerson, the poem reflects my uneasy relationship with Romanticism. But the poem is also about how the imagination is like magic; it can get you into trouble, but also get you out.”
—Rob Schlegel


Rob Schlegel

Rob Schlegel is the author of January Machine (Four Way Books, 2014), which won the Grub Street National Book Prize in Poetry. 

Date Published: 2016-12-13

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