April Poetry: All in green went my love riding

All in green went my love riding
on a great horse of gold
into the silver dawn.

four lean hounds crouched low and smiling
the merry deer ran before.

Fleeter be they than dappled dreams
the swift sweet deer
the red rare deer.

Four red roebuck at a white water
the cruel bugle sang before.

Horn at hip went my love riding
riding the echo down
into the silver dawn.

four lean hounds crouched low and smiling
the level meadows ran before.

Softer be they than slippered sleep
the lean lithe deer
the fleet flown deer.

Four fleet does at a gold valley
the famished arrow sang before.

Bow at belt went my love riding
riding the mountain down
into the silver dawn.

four lean hounds crouched low and smiling
the sheer peaks ran before.

Paler be they than daunting death
the sleek slim deer
the tall tense deer.

Four tell stags at a green mountain
the lucky hunter sang before.

All in green went my love riding
on a great horse of gold
into the silver dawn.

four lean hounds crouched low and smiling
my heart fell dead before.

april poetry

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2 Comments

Filed under April poetry, poetry

2 responses to “April Poetry: All in green went my love riding

  1. I’d been thinking incessantly of this poem the past few weeks (the late spring was making me think green and silver), but hadn’t taken the effort to actually go and pull out my copy of it again – so thank you for the timely post. Lines like “the famished arrow sang” work with such startling intensity.

    • Maureen E

      This is really my favorite cummings poem, partly because it shows just how much a master of form he could be. Also, because it’s both drawing on an older tradition and making something completely new, which I love so, so much.

      Also, I used one of the lines as the title of a short story I was working on a few months ago, so I have nice associations from that as well. And “slippered sleep,” “cruel bugle”–I feel like this one is almost Celan-ian in its unexpected joinings.

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