A Brook In The City
The farmhouse lingers, though averse to square
With the new city street it has to wear
A number in. But what about the brook
That held the house as in an elbow-crook?
I ask as one who knew the brook, its strength
And impulse, having dipped a finger length
And made it leap my knuckle, having tossed
A flower to try its currents where they crossed.
The meadow grass could be cemented down
From growing under pavements of a town;
The apple trees be sent to hearth-stone flame.
Is water wood to serve a brook the same?
How else dispose of an immortal force
No longer needed? Staunch it at its source
With cinder loads dumped down? The brook was thrown
Deep in a sewer dungeon under stone
In fetid darkness still to live and run —
And all for nothing it had ever done
Except forget to go in fear perhaps.
No one would know except for ancient maps
That such a brook ran water. But I wonder
If from its being kept forever under,
The thoughts may not have risen that so keep
This new-built city from both work and sleep.
I personally really like this poem. I think it addresses the issues within society where nature lacks, and modernization takes over. This poem has a specific rhyming scheme, and it stays consistent throughout the poem. There are many examples of personification: “The farm house lingers..”, “..Brook/That held..”, etc. An example of a hyperbole is used within this poem: “..The meadow grass could be cemented down..” This is a hyperbole as well as a metaphor, as the grass is not literally cemented down, it is symbolizing how nature is become overcome by cities. This poem is a good example of imagery. It creates the images of a peaceful brook, and a hectic city, and it compares the two. Some of the stylistic choices help create these images. There is little harsh language within the poem, which creates the image of a peaceful brook.
This whole poem is a metaphor of the of a constant stream of true self which underlies cement walks of civilization. It is telling us how we exploit nature at our own cost, and the the beauty and strength of nature is being put down by the constant need for urbanization.