Places I love come back to me like music,
Hush me and heal me when I am very tired;
I see the oak woods at Saxton’s flaming
In a flare of crimson by the frost newly fired;
And I am thirsty for the spring in the valley
As for a kiss ungiven and long desired.
I know a bright world of snowy hills at Boonton,
A blue and white dazzling light on everything one sees,
The ice-covered branches of the hemlocks sparkle
Bending low and tinkling in the sharp thin breeze,
And iridescent crystals fall and crackle on the snow-crust
With the winter sun drawing cold blue shadows from the trees.
Violet now, in veil on veil of evening
The hills across from Cromwell grow dreamy and far;
A wood-thrush is singing soft as a viol
In the heart of the hollow where the dark pools are;
The primrose has opened her pale yellow flowers
And heaven is lighting star after star.
Places I love come back to me like music–
Mid-ocean, midnight, the waves buzz drowsily;
In the ship’s deep churning the eerie phosphorescence
Is like the souls of people who were drowned at sea,
And I can hear a man’s voice, speaking, hushed, insistent,
At midnight, in mid-ocean, hour on hour to me.
This poem can be found in the free ebook Flame and Shadow by Sara Teasdale ,
which is available for download for Kindle, Nook and a variety of other formats from Project Gutenberg.
C. Christopher Smith is the founding editor of The Englewood Review of Books. He is also author of a number of books, including most recently How the Body of Christ Talks: Recovering the Practice of Conversation in the Church (Brazos Press, 2019). Connect with him online at: C-Christopher-Smith.com