Saturday, April 18, 2015


Too Much Light

Constance Carrier (1908-1991), "Elegy," in Michael McMahon, ed., Flowering After Frost: The Anthology of Contemporary New England Poetry (Boston: Branden Press, 1975), p. 107:
Here where the elm trees were
is only empty air.

Where once they stood
how blunt the buildings are!

Where the trees were
sky itself has fled
far overhead.

We have lost the leafy shield
between us and that space,
that lonely tract, revealed,
the light too straitly shed —

and lost as well the lace,
the filigree that gave
the works of men a grace
not theirs by right.

The world is smaller and larger
with the tall trees gone.
Through sunlight yellow as pollen
We walk where the elms have fallen.

We walk in too much light.
Maybe Dutch Elm Disease was to blame, but I'll still file this under arboricide.

Hat tip: Karl Maurer.


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