William De Witt Snodgrass

(January 5, 1926 – January 13, 2009 / Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania)

The Campus on the Hill


Up the reputable walks of old established trees
They stalk, children of the nouveaux riches; chimes
Of the tall Clock Tower drench their heads in blessing:
“I don't wanna play at your house;
I don't like you any more.”
My house stands opposite, on the other hill,
Among meadows, with the orchard fences down and falling;
Deer come almost to the door.
You cannot see it, even in this clearest morning.
White birds hang in the air between
Over the garbage landfill and those homes thereto adjacent,
Hovering slowly, turning, settling down
Like the flakes sifting imperceptibly onto the little town
In a waterball of glass.
And yet, this morning, beyond this quiet scene,
The floating birds, the backyards of the poor,
Beyond the shopping plaza, the dead canal, the hillside lying tilted in the air,

Tomorrow has broken out today:
Riot in Algeria, in Cyprus, in Alabama;
Aged in wrong, the empires are declining,
And China gathers, soundlessly, like evidence.
What shall I say to the young on such a morning?—
Mind is the one salvation?—also grammar?—
No; my little ones lean not toward revolt. They
Are the Whites, the vaguely furiously driven, who resist
Their souls with such passivity
As would make Quakers swear. All day, dear Lord, all day
They wear their godhead lightly.
They look out from their hill and say,
To themselves, “We have nowhere to go but down;
The great destination is to stay.”
Surely the nations will be reasonable;
They look at the world—don't they?—the world's way?
The clock just now has nothing more to say.

Submitted: Tuesday, January 03, 2012

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

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 (The Campus on the Hill by William De Witt Snodgrass )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

Top Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
    Maya Angelou
  9. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  10. Invictus
    William Ernest Henley

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. How to Please a Tomato, Monk E. Biz
  2. tell sadness to catch the next bus, Mandolyn Davidson
  3. GOD'S CALLING, Tom Zart
  4. For Scooner, about the closeness, Annie Cordelia Adams
  5. SEXUAL RUSH, Peter LeBuhn
  6. Reality, dhia abada
  7. Atonement, Sylvia Perry
  8. Cinnabar Grotto, Sylvia Perry
  9. Harlot, Sylvia Perry
  10. The Inevitable Eternity, Sylvia Perry

Poem of the Day

poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Young Love lies sleeping
In May-time of the year,
Among the lilies,
Lapped in the tender light:
White lambs come grazing,
White doves come building there:
...... Read complete »

   

Member Poem

[Hata Bildir]