Fall 1993 • Vol. XV No. 4 PoetryOctober 1, 1993 |

White Oaks Ascending

In the mind-weave, at a thousand, ten thousand feet, they all lean in on one another, snowy, hollow, still gothic with winter. And the few torn leaves starved neutral back into the spring before this one, the one long since gone black under the ice, hold on, mark time-- they'll fall eventually, once, twice, and turn dark green again, slowly, in detail. And the few songbirds, with their glass eyes and heart-breaking voices, stationed out of sight in the high, cold crowns-- they'll sing true again, and fly and fall to earth awhile among the human. And this is promised too, that the wind left trapped in the blue alleys of the branches will climb and clarify in the still and risen air. Let the stone gods in their fountains turn like clockwork-- they're no less rooted in the rain, nor their marble less perfection of the snow-- let the clay gods circle in the fire. The body piecemeal falls away, the spirit, in the privacy of dark, sheds all its leaves. I died, I c

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.
Stanley Plumly’s most recent book of poems is Orphan Hours (W.W. Norton, 2012). His collection Old Heart won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the Paterson Poetry Prize and was a finalist for the National Book Award. In 2015, his book of prose The Immortal Evening won the Truman Capote Prize for Literary Criticism. Plumly is a Distinguished University Professor at the University of Maryland. In 2010 he was elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Read More

Elevens

By Stanley Plumly

In the mind-weave, at a thousand, ten thousand feet, they all lean in on one another, snowy, hollow, still gothic with winter. And the few torn leaves starved neutral back […]

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.