By Howard Nemerov
Late in November, on a single night
Not even near to freezing, the ginkgo trees
That stand along the walk drop all their leaves
In one consent, and neither to rain nor to wind
But as though to time alone: the golden and green
Leaves litter the lawn today, that yesterday
Had spread aloft their fluttering fans of light.
What signal from the stars? What senses took it in?
What in those wooden motives so decided
To strike their leaves, to down their leaves,
Rebellion or surrender? and if this
Can happen thus, what race shall be exempt?
What use to learn the lessons taught by time.
If a star at any time may tell us: Now.
Poetry Round up can be found here.
This is just stunning. I esp love:
to down their leaves,
Rebellion or surrender?
And the questions it poses at the ending. Thank you for sharing it.
Yeah, I really loved the “rebellion or surrender,” too. I almost did a little comment/analysis of the poem, but then thought I’d just leave it for everyone to enjoy.
Thanks for hosting today!