Recollection of the Wood

By Léonie Adams 1899–1988 Leonie Adams
Light at each point was beating then to flight,   
The sapling bark flushed upward, and the welling   
Tips of the wood touched, touched at the bound,   
And boughs were slight and burdened beyond telling   
Toward that caress of the boughs a summer’s night,   
Illimitable in fragrance and in sound.

Here were the blue buds, earlier than hope,   
Unnumbered, beneath the leaves, a breath apart,   
Wakening in root-dusk. When the air went north,   
Lifting the oakleaves from the northern slope,   
Their infinite young tender eyes looked forth.   
Here all that was, was frail to bear a heart.

Léonie Adams, “Recollection of the Wood” from Poems: A Selection (New York: The Noonday Press, 1959). Used by permission of Judith Farr, Literary Executrix of the Estate of Léonie Adams.

Source: Poems: A Selection (1959)

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Poet Léonie Adams 1899–1988

Subjects Nature, Summer, Trees & Flowers

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza


An educator, consultant, editor, and poet, Leonie Adams was best known for her lyric poetry reminiscent of both the Romantic and Metaphysical periods. Her poetry won her several awards, including the Harriet Monroe Poetry Award, the Shelley Memorial Award, and the Bollingen Prize. She served in editorial capacities for both Wilson Publishing and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City during the 1920s and later taught . . .

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SUBJECT Nature, Summer, Trees & Flowers

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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