Winter 1991 • Vol. XIII No. 1 PoetryJanuary 1, 1991 |

At Gettysburg

These fields can never besimply themselves. Their greenseems such a tender green,their contours so significantto the tourists who stare towards the far range of mountainsas if they are listeningto the page of history tearingor to what they know themselves of warfarebetween brothers. In this scenery cows and cannons stand side by sideand motionless, as if they had grown here.The cannons on their simple wheelsresemble farm carts, childrenclimb them. Thus function disappears almost entirely into form, and what is left underthe impartial blue of the sky is a landscapewhere dandelions lie in the tall grasslike so many spent cartridges, turningat last to the smoke of puffballs; where the only redvisible comes at sunset;where the earth has grown so lovelyit seems to forgive us even as we are learningto forgive ourselves.

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Linda Pastan is the author of numerous books of poetry including Traveling Light (Norton & Co, 2011). Her fourteenth collection, Insomnia, is forthcoming. She has twice been a finalist for the National Book Award, and in 2003 she won the Ruth Lilly prize for lifetime achievement.

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These fields can never besimply themselves. Their greenseems such a tender green,their contours so significantto the tourists who stare towards the far range of mountainsas if they are listeningto the […]

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These fields can never besimply themselves. Their greenseems such a tender green,their contours so significantto the tourists who stare towards the far range of mountainsas if they are listeningto the […]

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