From a Photograph

By George Oppen 1908–1984 George Oppen
Her arms around me—child—
Around my head, hugging with her whole arms,
Whole arms as if I were a loved and native rock,
The apple in her hand—her apple and her father,
                   and my nose pressed
Hugely to the collar of her winter coat—. There
                   in the photograph

It is the child who is the branch
We fall from, where would be bramble,
Brush, bramble in the young Winter
With its blowing snow she must have thought
Was ours to give to her.

George Oppen, “From a Photograph” from New Collected Poems. Copyright © 1962 by George Oppen. Reprinted by permission of New Directions Publishing Corporation.

Source: Poetry (March 1962).


This poem originally appeared in the March 1962 issue of Poetry magazine

March 1962
 George  Oppen


George Oppen had a broad and unusual career as a prominent American poet. Oppen was one of the chief exponents of Objectivism, a school of poetry that emphasized simplicity and clarity over formal structure and rhyme. He established the movement with William Carlos Williams, Louis Zukosfky, and other poets in the early 1930s. In 1932 Oppen helped found the Objectivist Press, which published his first collection of poems, . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Relationships, Family & Ancestors, Arts & Sciences, Photography & Film

SCHOOL / PERIOD Objectivist

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