Friday, December 03, 2010

On The Eve of a Landmark Birthday

The Woodcutter Changes His Mind
by David Budbill

When I was young, I cut the bigger, older trees for firewood, the ones
with heart rot, dead and broken branches, the crippled and deformed

ones, because, I reasoned, they were going to fall soon anyway, and
therefore, I should give the younger trees more light and room to grow.

Now I'm older and I cut the younger, strong and sturdy, solid
and beautiful trees, and I let the older ones have a few more years

of light and water and leaf in the forest they have known so long.
Soon enough they will be prostrate on the ground.

"The Woodcutter Changes His Mind" by David Budbill, from While We've Still Got Feet: New Poems. © Copper Canyon Press, 2005. Found on The Writer's Almanac. Reprinted with permission of the author.  Thanks, David! This is the perfect poem for how I'm feeling today.

Today's Poetry Friday roundup is at The Miss Rumphius Effect. Thank you, Tricia, for rounding up our PF posts!


  1. Happy Birthday dear friend! May the same richness you bring to all of our lives each day come back to visit you a hundred fold in the next year/decade!

    I'm glad to host any time… Just sign me up…

  2. Happy Birthday! Great birthday poem. I always get excited about birthdays that end in -0 or -5 or ones that are multiples of 11. Hope yours is great!

    I'll take anything in April.

  3. Happy birthday!

    David Budbill is new to me, too. I like that poem.

  4. What a fabulous poem. Happy Birthday to you!

  5. I've never hosted before, but I'd love to. How about March 4? Thanks.

    Ben at The Small Nouns


  6. Happy birthday to someone who gives so much! The nostalgia of this poem just tugs at me, so wistful and sweet. Now, head out there for some cake, woman! A.
    ps - I would love April 1 - for the fools! Thank you!

  7. Thanks so much for organizing Poetry's been such a wonderful thing for me to discover and be part of.

  8. I hope your birthday is full of sunshine! Put me down for April 15--I should have my income tax done by then!

  9. Thank you all for stopping by to enjoy the poem I chose and thanks to Carol, Ben, Amy and Diane for volunteering to host a PF roundup. Obviously I didn't update the calendar throughout the day, but I will now!

  10. Love this poem--beautiful and melancholy. Hope your birthday was fabulous!

  11. Happy Birthday, Mary Lee. It's a beautiful poem, but I hope you are contemplating more than a few years. Enjoy the cake!


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