Mon 29 Mar, 2004 09:27 pm
A few years back, I was attending a memorial for a friend and one of the persons who gave a eulogy quoted parts of a poem that I have been unable to locate. I remember the words, "newly-carved walking stick" (I could be a little off, but words to that effect). The poem was in blank verse and it was about walking in the woods. Sorry my clues are so sparse!! I have seached all my poetry anthologies and my Bartlett's Quotations to no avail. I would say that the poem was likely written in the 20th century.
I did a pretty thorough search of the internet and this is what I came up with. Could this be it?
The Walking Stick
The Walking Stick
Many thanks for looking but, unfortunately, that's not it. (Though it's a rather lovely poem anyway!)
Perhaps it was "whittled" instead of "carved?" It's been a number of years now!!
Do you like Whitman? I love the end of "Song of Myself" where he says:
The spotted hawk swoops by and accuses me,
he complains of my gab and my loitering.
I too am not a bit tamed, I too am untranslatable,
I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world.
The last scud of day holds back for me,
It flings my likeness after the rest and true as any on the shadow'd
It coaxes me to the vapor and the dusk.
I depart as air, I shake my white locks at the runaway sun,
I effuse my flesh in eddies, and drift it in lacy jags.
I bequeath myself to the dirt to grow from the grass I love,
If you want me again look for me under your boot-soles.
You will hardly know who I am or what I mean,
But I shall be good health to you nevertheless,
And filter and fibre your blood.
Failing to fetch me at first keep encouraged,
Missing me one place search another,
I stop somewhere waiting for you.
I am not sure why I suddenly felt the urge to quote these last lines-- aren't they breathtaking?
See if it is "Staff" by a poet named Antler
Does this sound familiar?
"My walking stick urges me on/takes my hand like a friend,/Comforts me, steadies me/over rough terrain,/Beyond where it's ever been mapped,/Where no human ever set foot,/Following the voice of the stream/up where the mountains glow/and the sky has never been breathed!"
I don't think that's the poem I was trying to find (mine definitely mentions a newly-whittled-- or carved-- walking stick) but it's nonetheless beautiful! Who wrote it, do you know?
It was probably a poem written by a local poet, as neither of those phrases are anywhere to be found on the Internet.