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Recorded for Poem-a-Day, December 13, 2016.
About this Poem 

“‘Evergreen’ raises a lot of questions for me, in me. With an ambivalent nod to Emerson, the poem reflects my uneasy relationship with Romanticism. But the poem is also about how the imagination is like magic; it can get you into trouble, but also get you out.”
—Rob Schlegel

Evergreen

I whisper to the tree, the tree,
the murmuring Tree
“I might take action”

Is romantic
Snow sun melts into streams increasing in volume
I control with my lips

Around History. Our eyes meet. White ancient
Roar I hear stream-
Side, my invisible dress threatening

A slow death. The rest I want to carry
So I listen
For the tree, and its never quite obsolete magic.
 

Copyright © 2016 by Rob Schlegel. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on December 13, 2016, by the Academy of American Poets.

Copyright © 2016 by Rob Schlegel. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on December 13, 2016, by the Academy of American Poets.

Rob Schlegel

Rob Schlegel

Rob Schlegel is the author of January Machine (Four Way Books, 2014), which won the Grub Street National Book Prize in Poetry. 

by this poet

poem

Why are you grieving?

Because the others are grieving.

You are not compelled to grieve independently?

The grass needs raking.

The grass?

The leaves. I will build a fence to keep them from the sea.

Then will you help the others?

Tollers

poem
She used to sit on the forest floor 
and I would cut her hair until it piled up 
onto the ground, like ash.  

Tonight, her name is a leaf covering 
my left eye. The right I close 
for the wind to stitch shut with thread 

from the dress she wore into the grave 
where the determined roots of the tree 
are making