Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


Long after Hopkins

Nothing at dusk, lord, but dust 

                              and road to keep it. The field kneels 

under white pines, umbra the edge 

                              to whom this is addressed : 

a mind part fern, part birch : 

                              two turkeys slowly S-ing their necks 

through inflorescence, arrangement 

                              more precise than what light leaves 

fields : painterly flowers more color 

                              than picture, more words for color 

than tint : alizarin or violet, you could 

                              write goldenrod, write cornflower, 

but Queen Anne's lace still hems 

                              the low horizon. Faith, what is it 

abides, what's left of pastoral 

                              but unreality. Ask artifice. Ask ornament. 

Go ahead and ask : what principle 

                              animates the natural : owl pink Lady's Slipper 

orchid white-tailed deer woodchuck : 

                              is it only what's visible that's knowable. 

Twenty dandelions gone to seed; 

                              tent worms slung in the articulated 

tree; what's tiresome : mind 

                              unanswered, writing to supply 

scaffolds to hold up scenery, nothing 

                              but queries and plywood, string 

strung to a high struck bell auguring : 

                              it's too late to see a third turkey 

left headless, wreck of feathers 

                              the owl scared, scattered in grass—

Credit


From Sight Map by Brian Teare. Copyright © 2009 by Brian Teare. Used by permission of University of California Press. All rights reserved.

Author


Brian Teare

Born in Athens, Georgia in 1974, Brian Teare is the author of several poetry collections, including The Room Where I Was Born (University of Wisconsin Press, 2003), which was awarded both the Brittingham Prize and the 2004 Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry.

Date Published: 2009-01-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/long-after-hopkins