Veritas sequitur . . .
In the small beauty of the forest
The wild deer bedding down —That they are there!
Effortless, the soft lips
Nuzzle and the alien small teeth
Tear at the grass
The roots of it
Dangle from their mouths
Scattering earth in the strange woods.
They who are there.
Nibbled thru the fields, the leaves that shade them
Hang in the distances
The small nouns
In this in which the wild deer
Startle, and stare out.
The concision, the beauty of the images, that wonderful opening out into a kind of secular faith at the end, is truely mindblowing. Not a very critical statement that. George Oppen was one of the leading members of the so-called Objectivist movement in America, and I guess this would be an example of that type of poetry. Except in another sense, it's just a beautiful nature poem. It's also - in that last verse - about celebrating the ordinary words, the everyday language, about finding spiritual value in the world around us, rather than the high-falutin'. In that sense, it's an incarnational poem: it doesn't find meaning by looking up at the skies, it finds meaning by looking at the dirt.