Charles Clanton Rogers

Reflections based on poetry, music, visual art, book reviews, history of science, first-person history, philosophical essays and International Blogging _A7A1436-name

image courtesy of the artist, Myphuong Nguyen  poetry by Robert Frost


When I see birches bend to left and right
Across the lines of straighter darker trees,
I like to think some boy’s been swinging them.
But swinging doesn’t bend them down to stay
As ice-storms do. Often you must have seen them
Loaded with ice a sunny winter morning
After a rain. They click upon themselves
As the breeze rises, and turn many-colored
As the stir cracks and crazes their enamel.
Soon the sun’s warmth makes them shed crystal shells
Shattering and avalanching on the snow-crust—
Such heaps of broken glass to sweep away
You’d think the inner dome of heaven had fallen.
They are dragged to the withered bracken by the load,
And they seem not to break; though once they are bowed
So low for long, they never right themselves:
You may see their trunks arching in the woods
Years afterwards, trailing their leaves on the ground
Like girls on hands and knees that throw their hair
Before them over their heads to dry in the sun.
But I was going to say when Truth broke in
With all her matter-of-fact about the ice-storm
I should prefer to have some boy bend them
As he went out and in to fetch the cows—
Some boy too far from town to learn baseball,
Whose only play was what he found himself,
Summer or winter, and could play alone.
One by one he subdued his father’s trees
By riding them down over and over again
Until he took the stiffness out of them,
And not one but hung limp, not one was left
For him to conquer. He learned all there was
To learn about not launching out too soon
And so not carrying the tree away
Clear to the ground. He always kept his poise
To the top branches, climbing carefully
With the same pains you use to fill a cup
Up to the brim, and even above the brim.
Then he flung outward, feet first, with a swish,
Kicking his way down through the air to the ground.
So was I once myself a swinger of birches.
And so I dream of going back to be.
It’s when I’m weary of considerations,
And life is too much like a pathless wood
Where your face burns and tickles with the cobwebs
Broken across it, and one eye is weeping
From a twig’s having lashed across it open.
I’d like to get away from earth awhile
And then come back to it and begin over.
May no fate willfully misunderstand me
And half grant what I wish and snatch me away
Not to return. Earth’s the right place for love:
I don’t know where it’s likely to go better.
I’d like to go by climbing a birch tree,
And climb black branches up a snow-white trunk
Toward heaven, till the tree could bear no more,
But dipped its top and set me down again.
That would be good both going and coming back.
One could do worse than be a swinger of birches.

Charles Clanton Rogers    September 3, 2015

Thank you for “Flying Zebra”  If you Like this, consider hitting my reblog button or Share on FB

4 thoughts on “A Feast for Fading Summer

  1. bbnewsab says:

    As much as I like your new blog post, so full of poetic metaphors, clanton1934, I dislike that you already remind your readers of all the snow and ice soon to come.

    I hate snow, ice and cold weather.

    *Pondering: Maybe that’s why I prefer Hell to Heaven?*

    Liked by 1 person

    1. clanton1934 says:

      BB!!!! I know you live up North with long Winters BUT this picture is a WATERFALL in Summer!! These boys are cooling down, playfully in HOT Summertime in Water NOT snow! The whole post is for ac Summer Feast. “Come in out of the Cold” and have some Summer fun! The music is “Summertime” from Porgy & Bess; Now go back and watch it and listen again, please. Karl

      Liked by 1 person

  2. bbnewsab says:

    Oki, you’re right, Karl!

    I surrender. I wrote that comment in a sort of affective mood.

    But in your text you mention things like “ice-storms” and “avalanching on the snow-crust”. *brrh*

    Anyhow, your music choice is very tasteful. None of these three melodies reminds me of winter. On the contrary.

    Another good thing is that you didn’t choose Jerry Mungo and his “In the summertime” to illustrate this thoughtful blog. I really hate that pop song, both its melody and lyrics must have been created by a one-track mind. *Maybe God created that stupid and silly song to punish us humans for our sins already in this life? * :o)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. clanton1934 says:

      Now, look at it with “fresh eyes” Enjoy a Summer Feast. K

      Liked by 2 people

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