An Old-Fashioned Song

by John Hollander '50CC, '52GSAS
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No more walks in the wood:
The trees have all been cut
Down, and where once they stood
Not even a wagon rut
Appears along the path
Low brush is taking over.

 No more walks in the wood;
This is the aftermath
Of afternoons in the clover
Fields where we once made love
Then wandered home together
Where the trees arched above,
Where we made our own weather
When branches were the sky.
Now they are gone for good,
And you, for ill, and I
Am only a passer-by.

We and the trees and the way
Back from the fields of play
Lasted as long as we could.
No more walks in the wood.

—  John Hollander


Poet and critic John Hollander '50CC, '52GSAS, known as much for his humor as his technical mastery, died on August 17.

Poem originally published in Tesserae and Other Poems. Reprinted with permission of Alfred A. Knopf.

 
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