Monday, October 29, 2012


Driving around the state this summer and fall, we have eyed the withering corn, feeling a tinge of the gut-wrenching  despair we imagine  in the farmers, who planted in such industry and optimism in the spring. After many years away, I am back in my terrain of origin, fields of rustling corn spreading in every direction, sedimentary layers of landscape falling away from sight. This poem brought it all together for me.

by Bruce Weigl

I didn't know I was grateful
            for such late-autumn
                        bent-up cornfields

yellow in the after-harvest
             sun before the
                        cold plow turns it all over

into never.
            I didn't know
                        I would enter this music

that translates the world
             back into dirt fields
                         that have always called to me

as if I were a thing
              come from the dirt,
                          like a tuber,

or like a needful boy. End
             Lonely days, I believe. End the exiled
                           and unraveling strangeness.

From The Unraveling Strangeness by Bruce Weigl, published by Grove/Atlantic. Copyright © 2003 by Bruce Weigl. All rights reserved.

Mary, for the Poplar Grove Muse

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