Poem of The Day -- Some Trees

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Poem Of The Day -- Some Trees

The poem of the day is one of my favourites of all time: Some Trees, by John Ashbery.

John Ashbery Some Trees

These are amazing: each Joining a neighbor, as though speech Were a still performance. Arranging by chance

To meet as far this morning From the world as agreeing With it, you and I Are suddenly what the trees try

To tell us we are: That their merely being there Means something; that soon We may touch, love, explain.

And glad not to have invented Such comeliness, we are surrounded: A silence already filled with noises, A canvas on which emerges

A chorus of smiles, a winter morning. Placed in a puzzling light, and moving, Our days put on such reticence These accents seem their own defense.

 

John Ashbery was a member of the New York School along with Frank O'Hara (Lunch Poems) and many others. This movement popped up around the same time as The Beats movement was happening in San Francisco. While The Beats poets were very fiery and passionate, New York School poets were a little more detached, less emotional.

They were heavily influenced by Imagism; their poetry used all the senses to connect the images in the poem. They used symbolism, association, and narrative to link one word with the next.

Some Trees is my favourite because not a word is wasted here.

The lines that stand out the most are:

'To meet as far this morning From the world as agreeing With it, you and I Are suddenly what the trees try'

What does he mean by this? It's very complex, yet every word is linked. My opinion is that they both share a view on the world that maybe isn't mainstream. And it was through this 'rebellion' that they met and fell in love.

Someone asked me to read this poem at a wedding, but I had to decline because it isn't a very good love poem. The last lines speak to this:

'Our days put on such reticence These accents seem their own defense.'

 

I'll leave it up to you to try to figure out what he meant ;))