Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A leafy afterlife

1) “Red Virigina Creeper,” by Edvard Munch (1898-1900)

2) “Creeper,” by John Updike (December 2008)

With what stoic delicacy does
Virginia creeper let go:
the feeblest tug brings it down
a sheaf of leaves kite-high,
as if to say, To live is good
but not to live—to be pulled down
with scarce a ripping sound,
still flourishing, still
stretching toward the sun—
is good also, all photosynthesis
, quite quits. Next spring
the hairy rootlets left unpulled
snake out a leafy afterlife
up that same smooth-barked oak.

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