Seamus Cooney

Charles Reznikoff

Here are two versions of a poem of Reznikoff's, one seven years later than the other. What do you think of the revision? Or should we see here two separate poems? Express your opinions below.


Trees standing far off in winter
Against a polished blue sky
With boughs blown about like brown hair;

The stiff lines of the twigs
Blurred by the April buds;

Or branches crowded with leaves
And a wind turning
Their dark green light.


The stiff lines of the twigs
Blurred by buds.

Texts are taken from Charles Reznikoff, Poems 1918-1936: Volume 1 of the Complete Poems of Charles Reznikoff  edited by Seamus Cooney. Santa Barbara: Black Sparrow Press, 1976.

Which version do you prefer as a poem?

The longer version        The shorter version       Can't decide!

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  • Page revised September 17, 1996. Updated 15 February 1999. Simplified 19 September 2003.
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