Off A Side Road Near Staunton | Poem by Stanley Plumly

In many of those Japanese paintings with Mt. Fuji in the background, we find tiny figures moving along under the immensity of the landscape. Here’s an American version of a scene like that, by Stanley Plumly of Maryland, one of our country’s most accomplished poets.

In many of those Japanese paintings with Mt. Fuji in the background, we find tiny figures moving along under the immensity of the landscape. Here’s an American version of a scene like that, by Stanley Plumly of Maryland, one of our country’s most accomplished poets.

 

Off A Side Road Near Staunton


Some nothing afternoon, no one anywhere,

an early autumn stillness in the air,

the kind of empty day you fill by taking in

the full size of the valley and its layers leading

slowly to the Blue Ridge, the quality of country,

if you stand here long enough, you could stay

for, step into, the way a landscape, even on a wall,

pulls you in, one field at a time, pasture and fall

meadow, high above the harvest, perfect

to the tree line, then spirit clouds and intermittent

sunlit smoky rain riding the tops of the mountains,

though you could walk until it’s dark and not reach those rains—

you could walk the rest of the day into the picture

and not know why, at any given moment, you’re there.

 

American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetrymagazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Reprinted from Old Heart, by Stanley Plumly. Copyright ©2007 by Stanley Plumly. Used by permission of the publisher, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. Introduction copyright ©2011 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction’s author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006. We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts.

 

More in Life

Turn off the screens and head into Covington

Chamber, city and the school district work together to get kids outside

This time of year, it’s all about the harvest

The fourth week of August is time to reset for the coming… Continue reading

Couples tried on costumes for fun selfies at the 2019 Covington Sausage and Cider Fest.
Pour Covington another

Residents enjoy annual Covington Sausage and Cider Fest

Gretchen Leigh is a stay-at-home mom who lives in a neighborhood near you. You can read more of her writing on her website livingwithgleigh.com. To see her columns come to life, follow her on Facebook at Living with Gleigh by Gretchen Leigh.
Pulling the right strings

What would we do these days without Father Google to teach us how to manage life’s challenges?

Gardeners love our veggie-friendly Western Washington climate

Here are the most incredible edibles to grow now.

Always and forever

With the exception of my blackberry meltdown last week, I have finally… Continue reading

In May, Kentlake High School will present several performances of the ABBA-inspired musical “Mamma Mia!” Courtesy photo
Upcoming events: Kentlake presents ‘Mamma Mia!’

Also on tap: Greater Maple Valley Unincorporated Area Council will meet about water issues.

Fishing boats sit on the shore of Lake Wilderness during the Hooked On Fishing Derby. Photo by Kayse Angel
The 2019 Hooked On Fishing Derby

The derby took place at Lake Wilderness in Maple Valley over the weekend

Maple Valley wood carver creates chainsaw art

Ken Gruenes spends his retired days creating art out of tree stumps with his chainsaw.

Hunter Coffman and his family pose with Stitch in Hawaii. One of Hunter’s dreams was to meet Stitch and it was mad possible because of community support. Submitted photo from Laura Coffman
Hunter’s legacy lives on

Laura and Atom Coffman from Maple Valley started a nonprofit in honor of their son who passed away last year to cancer.

I can always grow blackberries

Blackberries are considered an invasive species in United States, because they are… Continue reading

Lake Wilderness Easter Egg Hunt

The egg hunt took place on Saturday, April 20.