[My mother saw the green tree toad]

By Lorine Niedecker 1903–1970 Lorine Niedecker
My mother saw the green tree toad
on the window sill
her first one
since she was young.
We saw it breathe

and swell up round.
My youth is no sure sign
I’ll find this kind of thing
tho it does sing.
Let’s take it in

I said so grandmother can see
but she could not
it changed to brown
and town
changed us, too.

Lorine Niedecker, “[My mother saw the green tree toad]” from Collected Works, edited by Jenny Penberthy, Copyright © 2002 Regents of the University of California. Published by University of California Press.

Source: Collected Works (University of California Press, 2004)

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Poet Lorine Niedecker 1903–1970

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

SCHOOL / PERIOD Objectivist

Subjects Living, Social Commentaries, Growing Old, Time & Brevity, Nature, Home Life, Relationships, Animals

 Lorine  Niedecker

Biography

Niedecker's verse is praised for its stark, vivid imagery, subtle rhythms, and spare language, which Kenneth Cox described as "whittled clean." Concerned with the distillation of images and thoughts into concise expression, Niedecker described her work as a "condensery," and several critics have compared her poetry to the delicate yet concrete verse of Chinese and Japanese writers. Although Niedecker's long correspondence with

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Social Commentaries, Growing Old, Time & Brevity, Nature, Home Life, Relationships, Animals

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

SCHOOL / PERIOD Objectivist

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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