Thursday, June 4, 2009

Point of View


Having gained dominion thus of this rough hill,
and having climbed the final hundred yards
gasping but triumphant,
there is nothing left to do
but turn, go back the way we came.

For you the challenge lies in the ascent,
in breaking out at last above tree-line
just before the final rise--
and in the evening burying yourself
in maps and charts and detours
while this day's climb lies all but forgotten
except as notes in the back of a book.

For me the pleasure comes
from the memory of the mountain:
that, and the view from the top,
is why I came along.


  1. The climb (and even the descent, judging by the photos) sounded gueling. I definitely couldn't have done it, would have been afraid to try.

    But to the extent that it inspired this fine work, I'm very envious. Congratulations.

    Ascension, not ascent?

  2. well we didn't climb the falls themselves. There is a trail along the left side (oh yeah, right, yep) that the brave and foolish can take, but I passed immediately and my husband wavered but decided mebbe not. this time.

    It wasn't so much grueling as tedious. With better legs and back it would have been tedious but not painful.
    I really really hate hiking. lol.

    Ascent, yes. thank you.

    actually this is a very old poem that came out of the glory days of hiking, sleeping bags, 20 pound packs and sides of mountains that move when you step on them.

    I really really hate hiking.

  3. Judy, I was so excited to see what looked like a new poem, illustrative photos and all -but it's new to me, anyway, and made a bad night better. ( not really bad, just time on hold and talking to credit card flunkies about their company's site's problems)

  4. New to you, is what counts. Do you realize this was written probably (omg) forty years ago? (Loooong moment of silence while I think about that.)

    At any rate, im pleased it helped smooth the night out a bit.