Treasure Island

Dana Gioia

(24 December 1950 / Hawthorne, California)

California Hills in August


I can imagine someone who found
these fields unbearable, who climbed
the hillside in the heat, cursing the dust,
cracking the brittle weeds underfoot,
wishing a few more trees for shade.

An Easterner especially, who would scorn
the meagerness of summer, the dry
twisted shapes of black elm,
scrub oak, and chaparral, a landscape
August has already drained of green.

One who would hurry over the clinging
thistle, foxtail, golden poppy,
knowing everything was just a weed,
unable to conceive that these trees
and sparse brown bushes were alive.

And hate the bright stillness of the noon
without wind, without motion.
the only other living thing
a hawk, hungry for prey, suspended
in the blinding, sunlit blue.

And yet how gentle it seems to someone
raised in a landscape short of rain—
the skyline of a hill broken by no more
trees than one can count, the grass,
the empty sky, the wish for water.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

What do you think this poem is about?



Read poems about / on: august, hate, summer, rain, green, water, wind, sky, tree

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (California Hills in August by Dana Gioia )

Enter the verification code :

  • Walter Durk (9/26/2007 8:30:00 PM)

    This is a fine poem, well-crafted and well-written. I enjoy the cadence, the flow and the topic. It conveys very clear imagery, and I can easily envision the California hills, also having lived among them. (Report) Reply

  • John Goodman (5/8/2006 9:50:00 PM)

    Dana talks about life that is surrounded by death. A uninhabitable field that looks as if there is no life holds an abundance of life. The eye can be very deceiving when we do not look close enough. (Report) Reply

Read all 2 comments »

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. PRETTY GOOD START.., ging taping
  2. Draw me in your heart, Nehemiah Theophylus Haokip
  3. The thirst is a thorn., Rm.Shanmugam Chettiar.
  4. Simple toys, hasmukh amathalal
  5. Acquaintance across the gender, Rm.Shanmugam Chettiar.
  6. Begining of my love, Nehemiah Theophylus Haokip
  7. What is all truth, Nehemiah Theophylus Haokip
  8. Let all people, hasmukh amathalal
  9. To be successful…, Rm.Shanmugam Chettiar.
  10. This parts all without you, Nehemiah Theophylus Haokip

Poem of the Day

poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

When the hours of Day are numbered,
And the voices of the Night
Wake the better soul, that slumbered,
To a holy, calm delight;

Ere the evening lamps are lighted,
...... Read complete »

 

Modern Poem

 

Trending Poems

  1. 04 Tongues Made Of Glass, Shaun Shane
  2. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  3. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  4. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  5. Footsteps of Angels, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  6. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  7. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  8. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
  9. Alone, Edgar Allan Poe
  10. Farewell, Anne Brontë

Trending Poets

[Hata Bildir]