Elizabeth Bishop (8 February 1911 – 6 October 1979 / Worcester, Massachusetts)
Chemin De Fer
Alone on the railroad track
I walked with pounding heart.
The ties were too close together
or maybe too far apart.
The scenery was impoverished:
scrub-pine and oak; beyond
its mingled gray-green foliage
I saw the little pond
where the dirty old hermit lives,
lie like an old tear
holding onto its injuries
lucidly year after year.
The hermit shot off his shot-gun
and the tree by his cabin shook.
Over the pond went a ripple
The pet hen went chook-chook.
"Love should be put into action!"
screamed the old hermit.
Across the pond an echo
tried and tried to confirm it.
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.