Sunday, June 15, 2008

A Poem from the Bellingham Review



This is a poem of mine that appears in the current (Spring, 2008) issue of the Bellingham Review.













ORPHEUS, GATHERING THE TREES

-The Metamorphoses of Ovid, Book X,
Lines 86-110

When love died the second time,
he sang at dawn in the empty field
and the trees came to listen.
A little song for the tag alder,
the fire cherry, the withe-willow.
The simple-hearted ones that come quickly
to loneliness.
Then he sang for the mulberry
with its purple fruit,
for the cedar and the tamarack.
He sang bel canto for the quaking aspen
and the stave oak;
something lovely for the white pine,
the fever tree, the black ash.
From the air he called the sparrows
and the varieties of wrens.
Then he sang for a bit of pestilence––
for the green caterpillars,
for the leaf worms and bark beetles.
Food to suit the flickers and the crows.
So that, in the wood lot,
there would always be empty places.
So he would still know loss.

-Greg Rappleye

4 Comments:

Blogger Diane Lockward said...

What a lovely poem! The attention to detail and diction are wonderful. Don't let me hear you again refer to yourself as a "minor" poet.

1:38 PM  
Blogger greg rappleye said...

Hahaha!

Thank you, Diane.

I may be "considered an infinitely minor poet" by some. The work will ultimately have to speak for itself.

I have some confidence in my poetry; let me say that much.

2:51 PM  
Blogger Nin Andrews said...

I love this! Thanks for posting it.

7:41 PM  
Blogger Charmi said...

Beautiful, Greg.

Summer has been blasting us down here. Send cool weather, but hold off on the rain.

9:04 PM  

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