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Landscape At The End Of The Century Analysis

Author: poem of Stephen Dunn Type: poem Views: 11

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The sky in the trees, the trees mixed up

with what's left of heaven, nearby a patch

of daffodils rooted down

where dirt and stones comprise a kind

of night, unmetaphysical, cool as a skeptic's

final sentence. What this scene needs

is a nude absentmindedly sunning herself

on a large rock, thinks the man fed up

with nature, or perhaps a lost tiger,

the maximum amount of wildness a landscape

can bear, but the man knows and fears

his history of tampering with everything,

and besides to anyone who might see him

he's just a figure in a clearing

in a forest in a universe

that is as random as desire itself,

his desire in particular, so much going on

with and without him, moles humping up

the ground near the daffodils, a mockingbird

publishing its cacaphonous anthology,

and those little Calvinists, the ants,

making it all the more difficult

for a person in America

to close his office, skip to the beach.

But what this scene needs are wisteria

and persimmons, thinks the woman

sunning herself absentmindedly on the rock,

a few magnificent words that one

might want to eat if one were a lover

of words, the hell with first principles,

the noon sun on my body, tempered

by a breeze that cannot be doubted.

And as she thinks, she who exists

only in the man's mind, a deer grazes

beyond their knowing, a deer tick riding

its back, and in the gifted air

mosquitos, dragonflies, and tattered

mute angels no one has called upon in years.

Anonymous submission.


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