Saturday, April 04, 2009

Orpheus, Gathering the Trees



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

6 Comments:

Blogger Susan Och said...

Lovely poem. but the bubble headed guy sings terribly.

9:40 AM  
Blogger Leslie said...

Your little bowtied dude freaks me out. Seriously.

10:23 AM  
Blogger greg rappleye said...

Me, too.

10:42 AM  
Blogger greg rappleye said...

He has even less hair than I do.

12:30 PM  
Blogger greg rappleye said...

And I am a waaaaay better singer.

12:31 PM  
Blogger Cindy Hunter Morgan said...

Beautiful!

4:44 PM  

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