Summer 1943 • Vol. V No. 3 Poetry |

Over the Landscape with Transit and Plumb-Bob

I. Out of the woods, I wanted to make maps.A cool cartographer, by trigonometry,Can solve the notes left by traversing tramps.I wanted maps to leave the poor tramp empty.  Reduction of hard trails to scale, oneTo ten thousand, proves the trails were hard.That red line, broken, thrown like sisal twineOver the contoured cliffs and forests, where starred  Dots are pine or narrowleaf trees, and ruffledArcs are broadleaf: it shows how lost I was.I always knew the azimuth, but was baffledBy lack of destination. If my compass  Showed me where I stood, where was I going?After the morning I found my partner gone,Trails were all alike. But with my hair-springDividers and the long segmented spline  I will plot the way I went acrossThe pocked sand dunes and hairy marsh, againTraverse each leg. Perhaps a wandering course,Charted, reveals a route: or a new way in. II. The second night I said, "I know this place.This is the river.” I pitched my tent on gravel,Unafraid of flash f

Already have an account? Login

Join KR for even more to read.

Register for a free account to read five free pieces a month from our current issue and digital archive.
Register for Free and Read This Piece



Or become a subscriber today and get complete, immediate access to our digital archives at every subscription level.

Read More

A Love for Patsy

By John Thompson Jr.

I. Out of the woods, I wanted to make maps.A cool cartographer, by trigonometry,Can solve the notes left by traversing tramps.I wanted maps to leave the poor tramp empty.  Reduction […]

Subscribe

Your free registration with Kenyon review incudes access to exclusive content, early access to program registration, and more.

Donate

With your support, we’ll continue 
to cultivate talent and publish extraordinary literature from diverse voices around the world.