From our desks at work, we look onto a bank of trees across the Don Mills road. And they're still, these days, in the heavy heat. But there's one tree that always shimmers and ripples like a mirage.
This is by Robert Hass. I always love when poets and writers admit the indescribability of their world—the compulsion to give utterance, the failure to give utterance.
The Problem of Describing Trees
The aspen glitters in the wind
And that delights us.
The leaf flutters, turning,
Because that motion in the heat of August
Protects its cells from drying out. Likewise the leaf
Of the cottonwood.
The gene pool threw up a wobbly stem
And the tree danced. No.
The tree capitalized.
No. There are limits to saying,
In language, what the tree did.
It is good sometimes for poetry to disenchant us.
Dance with me, dancer. Oh, I will.
The aspen doing something in the wind.