Thoughts Under the Giant Sequoia (a poem)

Pennant, Edmund

Thoughts under the Giant Sequoia (Y osemite National Park) Edmund Pennant A shrub of tourists gathers under "General Grant" for the ranger's lecture. This patriarch is at least two dozen...

...and greenblatts who huddled bleak by the grave they dug, waiting for the guns...
...This patriarch is at least two dozen centuries old, a loner in a corner of the grove...
...Some day I'll come back alone and listen, and look for a tree slightly older than Moses, flaunting incredible veridians at the crown...
...In what monstrosity of treetrunk, I wonder, are all those martyrs marked, who died for the Sanctification of the Name, unnamed...
...One, pain-wracked on horseback, dared Indians and forests, recapturing Pontiac's despair...
...The rangeróa romanticócommends us to the lordly scene, citing "silence of cathedrals" which phrase we noted that morning in the free brochure, pages made from pulp of little brothers...
...Thence to the usual chronicles building out from natal core to delicate cambium: William the Conquerer here, Charlemagne and Columbus there, each to his ring concentric...
...It will not be about strategies of attrition or political whims of lightning lopping giants as if they were dwarf skirmishers on the treeline...
...Edmund Pennant, author of I, Too, Jehovah, teaches at Adelphi University...
...His poetry has appeared in Saturday Review, the New York Times, Antioch Review, American Scholar, and many anthologies...
...Tonight in Yosemite, though, I'll have to bushwhack through dreams of the lovely greenbaums I have known who rest securely under stone...
...No mention, though, of the Massacre at York of the Jews, while the tree was sleeping...
...It will not be about death's durance inherent in the living, a subject he could respect...
...The other, historian of the Warsaw ghetto, buried his diaries in iron boxes before they took him in a bunker...
...The general has heard the talk before...
...and greenwalds resting their tanks in a grove of tamarisks near Sharm el Sheik...
...Francis Parkman and Emanuel Ringelblum: there's a pair who took their scholarship al fresco...

Vol. 3 • June 1978 • No. 7


 
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