For Jim, Easter Eve

Anne Spencer

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If ever a garden was Gethsemane,
with old tombs set high against
the crumpled olive tree--and lichen,
this, my garden, has been to me.
For such as I none other is so sweet:
Lacking old tombs, here stands my grief,
and certainly its ancient tree.

Peace is here and in every season
a quiet beauty.
The sky falling about me
evenly to the compass . . .

What is sorrow but tenderness now
in this earth-close frame of land and sky
falling constantly into horizons
of east and west, north and south;
what is pain but happiness here
amid these green and wordless patterns,--
indefinite texture of blade and leaf:

Beauty of an old, old tree,
last comfort in Gethsemane.

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  • elkemccollum25

    Having to decipher this poem for homework wasn't exactly a walk in the park. It’s a bit dreary, just like that old, crumpled olive tree described. Honestly I didn't feel any peace while reading, kind of the opposite. Not really my cup of tea, too melancholy, but hey, what do I know? I'm just a student. Maybe I'll come back to it in a few years and feel differently. The "indefinite texture of blade and leaf" was a cool image though, not gonna lie.