Lisel Mueller

(February 8, 1924)

Scenic Route - Poem by Lisel Mueller

For Lucy, who called them "ghost houses."


Someone was always leaving
and never coming back.
The wooden houses wait like old wives
along this road; they are everywhere,
abandoned, leaning, turning gray.

Someone always traded
the lonely beauty
of hemlock and stony lakeshore
for survival, packed up his life
and drove off to the city.
In the yards the apple trees
keep hanging on, but the fruit
grows smaller year by year.

When we come this way again
the trees will have gone wild,
the houses collapsed, not even worth
the human act of breaking in.
Fields will have taken over.

What we will recognize
is the wind, the same fierce wind,
which has no history.


Comments about Scenic Route by Lisel Mueller

  • Ratnakar Mandlik (3/18/2016 11:58:00 PM)

    Awesome narration with stunning style, the houses collapsed, not even worth
    the human act of breaking in,
    fields will have taken over. (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Jasbir Chatterjee Jasbir Chatterjee (3/18/2016 11:54:00 PM)

    lovely poem! thanks for sharing...congrats on being poet of the day! (Report) Reply

  • Mohammed Asim Nehal Mohammed Asim Nehal (3/18/2016 1:35:00 PM)

    Nicely written poem, Thanks for sharing.10 (Report) Reply

  • Savita Tyagi (3/18/2016 9:53:00 AM)

    Keen and sensitive beauty and a touch of sadness narrated in flow of time. Enjoyed very much. Thanks for sharing. (Report) Reply

  • Barry Middleton Barry Middleton (3/18/2016 8:29:00 AM)

    Lovely. So many places like this where i grew up. (Report) Reply

  • Edward Kofi Louis Edward Kofi Louis (3/18/2016 7:36:00 AM)

    Packed up his life and drove off! Thanks for sharing. (Report) Reply

  • Lauren Rosina Lauren Rosina (3/18/2016 5:45:00 AM)

    Very creepy. I like it espeacially the last line. (Report) Reply

  • Pranab K Chakraborty Pranab K Chakraborty (3/18/2016 1:14:00 AM)

    Excellent the beauty of expressing eternity with modern thoughts of accepting and rejection. Oft quoted so many lines are in procession....really enjoyed its poetic essence. Thanks to PH. (Report) Reply

  • Colleen Courtney (5/17/2014 5:44:00 PM)

    Her wording of this poem makes me feel as if I'm traveling along with the poet on this trip! So vividly descriptive! (Report) Reply

  • Poetry Hound (1/29/2005 7:58:00 AM)

    She really brings out how evocative an abandonded house is, how there's a life that's been abandoned too. The closing stanza is a perfect ending. (Report) Reply

Read all 10 comments »



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Read poems about / on: history, city, lonely, wind, beauty, life, tree, house



Poem Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003



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