The Man Beneath The Tree
Nothing is so far as truth;
nothing is so plain to see.
Look where light has married earth
through the green leaves on the tree.
Nothing is so hard as love--
love for which the wisest weep;
yet the child who never looked
found it easily as his sleep.
Nothing is as strange as love--
love is like a foreign land.
Yet its natives find their way
natural as hand-in-hand.
Nothing is so bare as truth--
that lean geometry of thought;
but round its poles there congregate
all foliage, flowers and fruits of earth.
Oh, love and truth and I should meet,
sighed the man beneath the tree;
but where should our acquaintance be?
Between your hat and the soles of your feet,
sang the bird on the top of the tree.
I've been reading Judith Wright's Selected Poems: Five Senses a few poems a day for #AusReadingMonth, and quite enjoying it. And since The Other Reader has been berating me for not posting poems, I thought I'd better hop to... 😉
I thought about picking one of her poems more distinctly Australian, but I liked this one.
I've had this book on my shelf for a while now, and while I've dipped into it before, this will be the first time I've read it through. My fellow undergraduate/poetry mentor saw this on a shelf at a used bookstore and told me I ought to read Judith Wright, so I dutifully bought it. Now I'm puzzled why I waited so long.
This volume is a selection made by Judith Wright herself; mine is the second edition (with more poems!) from 1972. She died at the age of 85 in 2000.