The View at Gunderson's

Original Text: 
Poetry: A Magazine of Verse 6.2 (May 1915): 54-55.
1Sitting in his rocker waiting for your tea,
2Gazing from his window, this is what you see:
3A cat that snaps at flies; a track leading down
4By log-built shanties gray and brown;
5The corner of a barn, and tangled lines of fence
6Of rough-hewn pickets standing dense;
7The ghost of a tree on a dull, wet day;
8And the blanket fog where lies the bay.
9But when he's seen the last of you,
10Sitting in his rocker, what's his view?
11(For there he sits, day in day out,
12Nursing his leg -- and his dreams, no doubt.)
15Daughters seven with their cold blue eyes,
16And the great pine where his father lies;
17The boat that brought him over the sea;
18And the toothless woman who makes his tea.
19(Their picture, framed on the rough log wall,
20Proves she had teeth when he was tall.)
21He sees the balsam thick on the hill,
22And all he's cleared with a stubborn will.
23And last he sees the full-grown son
24For whom he hoards what he has won.
25You saw little worth the strife:
26What he sees is one man's life.

Notes

13] gaard: farm (Norwegian). Back to Line
14] Trondjem: Trondheim, the first capital of Norway, after which a (now) ghost town in Minnesota was named by immigrants. fjord: inlet of the sea. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
1915
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
2003
Form: