Poem of the Week: The Oracle

By Arthur Davison Ficke

I lay upon the summer grass.
A gold-haired, sunny child came by,
And looked at me, as loath to pass,
With questions in her lingering eye.

She stopped and wavered, then drew near,
(Ah! the pale gold around her head!)
And o’er my shoulder stopped to peer.
“Why do you read?” she said.

“I read a poet of old time,
Who sang through all his living hours—
Beauty of earth—the streams, the flowers—
And stars, more lovely than his rhyme.

“And now I read him, since men go,
Forgetful of these sweetest things;
Since he and I love brooks that flow,
And dawns, and bees, and flash of wings!”

She stared at me with laughing look,
Then clasped her hands upon my knees:
“How strange to read it in a book!
I could have told you all of these!”


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Kelly Brenner

Kelly Brenner is a naturalist, writer and photographer based in Seattle. She is the author of a book about urban nature, coming Spring 2020 from Mountaineers Books. She writes freelance articles about natural history and has bylines in Crosscut, ParentMap, National Wildlife Magazine and others. On the side she writes fiction.

Kelly holds a bachelors degree in landscape architecture from the University of Oregon and a certificate in non-fiction writing from the University of Washington.

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