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June 8th 2012

June 8, 2012

Yesterday I realised that I didn’t want to try and produce a new poem every day.  I want to take a little more time to read different types of poetry and dwell on them.  Also, I wanted to give myself a little more time to be struck by something that I could mull over and play with.  When I was writing a poem a day most of the day was spent with me thinking ‘what can I write about’?

So today’s poem is a mash up.  I was looking at elegiac poetry and reading some of the metaphysical poetry of John Donne.  I love the language and his belief in God as his central reference point.  I have also been thinking about transplanting trees as an analogy for changing behaviour and new beginnings.  I also wanted to mix in Roman gods and the Christian god, counterpointing the tree’s experience between them.  However the poem has to have value in and of itself rather than just a mental exercise so I wanted it to make sense to me as well.  Maybe I shouldn’t burden you, the reader, with an explanation before the poem.  It’s rather like asking the audience to be impressed by a trick by a magician who explains how he does it before he performs ‘the magic’.  Anyway, if you are motivated, do let me know what your response is.


Oh tree! Where thou hast withstood full near
two score years and ten
grown slow and weak on this pittance of
Ceres flesh.  Too few frail blossoms
garlend’d your tired boughs.
Your Summer clad leaves
fell at Venti’s gentlest caress.
As seasons surrend’d to years
Saturn’s bounty passed you by.
Your frail fruits hung as withered dugs
upon those wretched boughs.

But blessed be the one true God!
Whose son recount’d the sower’s tale
who scattered his seed.
God pluck’st thou tree’s spinster fruit
and tossed it into good ground.
Now that sapling, bourne late
like Sara’s belated bless’d offspring
rises forth to shew thou glory.
And we pale mortals who thrivest not
in miserly soil, crave the blessing
to bountious dwell in thou’st rich soil.


From → June 2012, Poetry

  1. I am loving the references and I think I get them. Is Sara, Abrams Sara and is it a ref about sowing tribes of men as seeds are scattered?


    • Hi Ian,
      you’re right. Sara is Abraham’s Sara. The reference is more to do with me though. That I can bear fruit albeit late in the day. After all, Sara was at least 90 when she gave birth. I’m the ‘near two score years and ten’. I appreciate you responding. Russell


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