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  • Wednesday, August 29, 2012

    The Redwood Forest: Song of the Redwood Tree

    I had a lot more photos of Redwoods, so thought I would post a few more with one of my favorite excerpts from Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass. I have a greater appreciation for it now.

    Song of the Redwood Tree

    Farewell my brethren,
    Farewell O earth and sky, farewell ye neighboring waters,
    My time has ended, my term has come.

    Along the northern coast,
    Just back from the rock-bound shore and the caves,
    In the saline air from the sea in the Mendocino country,
    With the surge for base and accompaniment low and hoarse,
    With crackling blows of axes sounding musically driven by strong arms,
    Riven deep by the sharp tongues of the axes, there in the redwood
    forest dense, 
    I heard the might tree its death-chant chanting.

    The choppers heard not, the camp shanties echoed not,
    The quick-ear'd teamsters and chain and jack-screw men heard not,
    As the wood-spirits came from their haunts of a thousand years to join the refrain,
    But in my soul I plainly heard.

    Murmuring out of its myriad leaves,
    Down from its lofty top rising two hundred feet high,
    Out of its stalwart trunk and limbs, out of its foot-thick bark,
    That chant of the seasons and time, chant not of the past only but the future.
      
    Creative Commons License
    A Backpacker's Life List by Ryan Grayson is licensed under
    a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.