Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Hoeing, by John Updike

Hoeing
by John Updike, from Telephone Poles and Other Poems (Alfred A. Knopf).

I sometimes fear the younger generation will be deprived
   of the pleasures of hoeing;
   there is no knowing
how many souls have been formed by this simple exercise.

The dry earth like a great scab breaks, revealing
   moist-dark loam—
   the pea-root's home,
a fertile wound perpetually healing.

How neatly the green weeds go under!
   The blade chops the earth new.
   Ignorant the wise boy who
has never rendered thus the world fecunder.