The Tree at Frost’s Window Replies

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by Evelyn Hooven (March 2016)

“Not all your light tongues talking aloud
Could be profound.  .  .”

(from Robert Frost’s “Tree at My Window”)

 

You don’t know me very well—

You think you’re someone special

To relate to me at all,

But you’ve really no notion

Of what it is to be me,

Not of my motion,

You think me still

Secure and trivial

Compared with you

Though I’ve lived longer—

Through birth, blight

And deepest winter

Where just the lasting makes

A kind of stature.

I may lose and recover

More than you dream

Though to you I seem

A simple tree

To fasten your fancy on

And generous you

To lift the sash

Compare heads

And concentrate on me,

Refusing to sentimentalize,

Also refusing to see

Some wisdom that’s my own.

A blight or axe

Might strike me down

But I can live on rain—

When you go, I’ll stand.

I thrive on nature’s silence,

You talk to fill the void.

This motion of mine

Is no dumb wind

                              but laughter.  .  .

 

 

____________________________

 

Evelyn Hooven graduated from Mount Holyoke College and received her M.A. from Yale University, where she also studied at The Yale School of Drama.  A member of the Dramatists’ Guild, she has had presentations of her verse dramas at several theatrical venues, including The Maxwell Anderson Playwrights Series in Greenwich, CT (after a state-wide competition) and The Poet’s Theatre in Cambridge, MA (result of a national competition). Her poems and translations from the French have appeared in ART TIMES, Chelsea, The Literary Review, THE SHOp: A Magazine of Poetry (in Ireland), The Tribeca Poetry Review, Vallum (in Montreal), and other journals, and her literary criticism in Oxford University’s Essays in Criticism.

 

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