The Woodcutter. Jules Bastien-Lepage.



Amy Lowell, 1919


You are like the stem

Of a young beech-tree,

Straight and swaying,

Breaking out in golden leaves.

Your walk is like the blowing of a beech-tree

On a hill.

Your voice is like leaves

Softly struck upon by a South wind.

Your shadow is no shadow, but a scattered sunshine;

And at night you pull the sky down to you

And hood yourself in stars.


But I am like a great oak under a cloudy sky,

Watching a stripling beech grow up at my feet.

2 thoughts on “Generations”

  1. “You are like the stem/Of a young beech-tree,/Straight and swaying,/Breaking out in golden leaves./Your walk is like the blowing of a beech-tree/On a hill.”

    Yah, no wonder! The old guy’s the one carrying all that wood.


    1. I thought this painting was a perfect pairing for the poem. The old man bears a heavy load of dead wood, like the weight of years. The young girl holds no greater burden than fresh flowers.

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