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(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963 / San Francisco)

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A Late Walk

When I go up through the mowing field,
The headless aftermath,
Smooth-laid like thatch with the heavy dew,
Half closes the garden path.

And when I come to the garden ground,
The whir of sober birds
Up from the tangle of withered weeds
Is sadder than any words

A tree beside the wall stands bare,
But a leaf that lingered brown,
Disturbed, I doubt not, by my thought,
Comes softly rattling down.

I end not far from my going forth
By picking the faded blue
Of the last remaining aster flower
To carry again to you.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003


Read poems about / on: flower, tree

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  • Melikhaya Zagagana (1/26/2014 6:55:00 AM)

    A beautiful poem with majestic choice of expression by a majestic poet salute, aluta continua. hope his soul is beautifully rested.

    15 person liked.
    8 person did not like.
  • Gangadharan Nair Pulingat (1/6/2014 4:04:00 AM)

    I enjoyed this poem very much.

  • Barry Middleton (12/30/2013 6:37:00 PM)

    How in the world can people rate this poem a 6.8? It is flawless. We go into the world, we encounter pain and sorrow and their images but we find what beauty we can and share that with those we love.

  • Kaylin Ruth Adarne (10/24/2013 5:22:00 AM)

    I love this poem and I always wanted to write something like this. Amazing! ! !

  • Krishnakumar Chandrasekar Nair (9/20/2013 10:36:00 AM)

    Those dreamy hours in those rustic lanes
    Where the poet did walk in quietitude
    And then retire to write about simple games
    That he and nature played in solitude

  • Cambridge Keenan (7/10/2013 7:42:00 PM)

    Some tragic event, a great loss of love, he is taking the aster back to her grave reminding all death will come certainly

  • Aram Thaggard (5/7/2013 4:10:00 PM)

    To me, this poem is about persevering in the ability to love someone again after being hurt.

    The headless aftermath he refers to, I take as a seemingly endless view of a destroyed pastoral place; as if a natural disaster happened at the site. This results in the path to the garden -which I take to be his true inner self and emotions- being half closed, ergo harder to find. Notice how once he gets to the garden the first thing he notices is the disconcert of the birds. I take the sober birds to be sober thoughts which, at some point, wantoned and flew through the air; presumably before the disaster of tragedy in love had hit. The leaf which falls from the tree was disturbed by his thought, which could either be the birds or literal, but the falling leaf signifies the last addition to the destroyed garden he will let happen before he focuses on the silver lining, which is a faded flower which I think signifies his affection.

    That's my interp, y'all.

  • ian Holt (4/17/2013 12:23:00 PM)

    Much of the imagery here seems to be a meditation on death. The first stanza's-mowing, headless, aftermath-almost like a war poem but here it is natures abundance reaped. The second: funereal with-withered weeds and sober birds-nature reflecting a sadness words cannot fully express: then the poignant fragile image of the last leaf falling, as he considers we all must and finally perhaps, placing a single faded flower on a grave? To remind us all through his loss of our own mortality.

  • Buddha Buddie (4/11/2013 11:50:00 AM)

    This poem makes me have a yummy fuzzy feeling kind of like when I have constipation

  • Titi Dale (3/31/2013 8:00:00 PM)

    This is a very sweet poem: -) a regular rhyme scheme, but heartfelt s words I cannot even begin to explain... I love this poem: D

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