Winter Journal: Threshed Blue, Cardings, Dim Tonsils

By Emily Wilson b. 1968 Emily Wilson
stripped batting of cloud
glimpsed ligaments
dusk coming up under
lithographic, nib-hatchings
       instruments click
       the fine-sprung locust
       replicate dinge along hill-lines
       tailings of umber, the rust smudge
There is still that hemmed ocean of oaks
       the various reds, the somehow
       silver cast over the brown-gold
       the under-brushed shadows
How can there be more of their dispensing
       into air?
The night-openings of the trees
The thousand clefts into
Their corridors shiver and merge and piece apart
There is no one beside what was once river
Only the carbons incoming
       accreting in leaves
Love of old oaks unencumbering
Root-beauties brought through
crude sieves of bare trees
the few fastened leaves
Those pods are like tongues or like sickles
The blades have been pulled from their sheaths
The backs of the clouds now upturned
They herd from pink seas
They make their untouchable stream
       through regions of steep emptiness
       against which the trees have their gestures
Drop down, drop down toward me
your little sleek scars
Make your bed in rough cedars
clangor of darks numbering in
clusters of trunks and spoked lungs
the thistles that work at the gums

Emily Wilson, “Winter Journal: Threshed Blue, Cardings, Dim Tonsils” reprinted from The Keep. With permission Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2001.

Source: The Keep (University of Iowa Press, 2001)

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Poet Emily Wilson b. 1968

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Subjects Trees & Flowers, Winter, Nature, Landscapes & Pastorals


Emily Wilson was born in Ohio and grew up in Maine; she was educated at Harvard University and the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Her collections of poetry include The Keep (2001); Morpho terrestre (2006), a limited-edition book with prints by Sara Langworthy; and Micrographia (2009). Poet James Galvin noted in the Boston Review that Wilson’s poetry matches “wildness of diction with precision of sense.”
Wilson has . . .

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SUBJECT Trees & Flowers, Winter, Nature, Landscapes & Pastorals

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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