Saturday, March 19, 2016

Into the Woods




Not Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening
BY jennifer michael hecht
                                                                I

Promises to keep was a lie, he had nothing. Through 
the woods. Over the river and into the pain. It is an addict's
talk of quitting as she's smacking at a vein. He was always
going into the woods. It was he who wrote, The best way

out is always through. You'd think a shrink, but no, a poet.
He saw the woods and knew. The forest is the one that holds
promises. The woods are lovely, dark, and deep, they fill 
with a quiet snow. Miles are traveled as we sleep. He steers

his horse off the road. Among the trees now, the blizzard 
is a dusting. Holes in the canopy make columns of snowstorm, 
lit from above. His little horse thinks it is queer. They go
deeper, sky gets darker. It's the darkest night of the year.

                                                              II

He had no promises to keep, nothing pending. Had no bed
to head to, measurably away in miles. He was a freak like me,
monster of the dawn. Whose woods these are I think I know,
his house is in the village though. In the middle of life

he found himself lost in a dark woods. I discovered myself
in a somber forest. In between my breasts and breaths I got
lost. The woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I've got promises
to keep, smiles to go before I leap. I'm going into the woods.

They're lovely dark, and deep, which is what I want, deep lovely 
darkness. No one has asked, let alone taken, a promise of me,
no one will notice if I choose bed or rug, couch or forest deep. 
It doesn't matter where I sleep. It doesn't matter where I sleep.

REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Sonata No. 1 for Violin & Piano by Sergei Prokofiev




Joy in the Woods
BY claude mckay

There is joy in the woods just now,
       The leaves are whispers of song,
And the birds make mirth on the bough
       And music the whole day long,
And God! to dwell in the town
       In these springlike summer days,
On my brow an unfading frown
       And hate in my heart always—

A machine out of gear, aye, tired,
Yet forced to go on—for I’m hired.

Just forced to go on through fear,
       For every day I must eat
And find ugly clothes to wear,
       And bad shoes to hurt my feet
And a shelter for work-drugged sleep!
       A mere drudge! but what can one do?
A man that’s a man cannot weep!
       Suicide? A quitter? Oh, no!

But a slave should never grow tired,
Whom the masters have kindly hired.

But oh! for the woods, the flowers
       Of natural, sweet perfume,
The heartening, summer showers
       And the smiling shrubs in bloom,
Dust-free, dew-tinted at morn,
       The fresh and life-giving air,
The billowing waves of corn
       And the birds’ notes rich and clear:—

For a man-machine toil-tired
May crave beauty too—though he’s hired.

REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Forest Scenes by Robert Schumann





The Difficulty with a Tree
BY russell edison

A woman was fighting a tree. The tree had come to rage at the woman’s attack, breaking free from its earth it waddled at her with its great root feet. 
         Goddamn these sentiencies, roared the tree with birds shrieking in its branches. 
         Look out, you’ll fall on me, you bastard, screamed the woman as she hit at the tree. 
         The tree whisked and whisked with its leafy branches. 
         The woman kicked and bit screaming, kill me kill me or I’ll kill you! 


         Her husband seeing the commotion came running crying, what tree has lost patience? 
         The ax the ax, damnfool, the ax, she screamed. 
         Oh no, roared the tree dragging its long roots rhythmically limping like a sea lion towards her husband. 
         But oughtn’t we to talk about this? cried her husband. 
         But oughtn’t we to talk about this, mimicked his wife. 
         But what is this all about? he cried. 
         When you see me killing something you should reason that it will want to kill me back, she screamed. 



         But before her husband could decide what next action to perform the tree had killed both the wife and her husband. 
         Before the woman died she screamed, now do you see? 
         He said, what...? And then he died.

REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Music from "Spartacus" by Alex North





Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
BY robert frost

Whose woods these are I think I know.   
His house is in the village though;   
He will not see me stopping here   
To watch his woods fill up with snow.   

My little horse must think it queer   
To stop without a farmhouse near   
Between the woods and frozen lake   
The darkest evening of the year.   

He gives his harness bells a shake   
To ask if there is some mistake.   
The only other sound’s the sweep   
Of easy wind and downy flake.   

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,   
But I have promises to keep,   
And miles to go before I sleep,   
And miles to go before I sleep.

REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Footprints in the Snow by Claude Debussy




Song: “Under the greenwood tree”

BY william shakespeare
(from As You Like It)
Under the greenwood tree
Who loves to lie with me,
And turn his merry note
Unto the sweet bird's throat,
Come hither, come hither, come hither:
            Here shall he see
            No enemy
But winter and rough weather.

Who doth ambition shun
And loves to live i' the sun,
Seeking the food he eats,
And pleased with what he gets,
Come hither, come hither, come hither:
            Here shall he see
            No enemy
But winter and rough weather.

REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Under the Greenwood Tree by Roger Quilter







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