Lorine Niedecker

H L T [

His Carpets Flowered

— how we’ re carpet-making
by the river
a long dream to unroll
and somehow time to pole
a boat

I designed a carpet today —
dogtooth violets
and spoke to a full hall
now that the gall
of our society’ s

corruption stains throughout
Dear Janey I am tossed
by many things
If the change would bring
better art

but if it would not?
O to be home to sail the flood
I’ m possessed
and do possess

Linnaeus in Lapland

Nothing worth noting
except an Andromeda
with quadrangular shoots —
the boots
of the people

wet inside: they must swim
to church thru the floods
or be taxed — the blossoms
from the bosoms
of the leaves


Fog-thick morning —
I see only
where I now walk. I carry
my clarity
with me.


where her snow-grave is
the You
ah you
of mourning doves

Thomas Jefferson

My wife is ill!
And I sit
for a quorum

Fast ride
his horse collapsed
Now he saddled walked

Borrowed a farmer’ s
unbroken colt
To Richmond

Richmond How stop —
Arnold’ s redcoats

Elk Hill destroyed —
carried off 30 slaves

Were it to give them freedom
he’ d have done right

Latin and Greek
my tools
to understand

[My mother saw the green tree toad]

My mother saw the green tree toad
on the window sill
her first one
since she was young.
We saw it breathe

and swell up round.
My youth is no sure sign
I’ ll find this kind of thing
tho it does sing.
Let’ s take it in

I said so grandmother can see
but she could not
it changed to brown
and town
changed us, too.

[The wild and wavy event]

The wild and wavy event
now chintz at the window

was revolution...

to Miss Abigail Smith:
You have faults

You hang your head down
like a bulrush

you read, you write, you think
but I drink Madeira

to you
and you cross your Leggs

while sitting.

How are the children?
If in danger run to the woods.

Evergreen o evergreen
how faithful are your branches.