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Portrait of the Artist as a Lone Tree


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(On visiting the childhood home of JRR Tolkien)

Click to hear (.mp3)

Forgotten summer dreams still fill this field,
which lies unsullied ‘midst the concrete hell,
as if preserved by some uncanny spell
that makes this bit of England slow to yield.
A babbling brook, the running river Cole,
which floods enough to foil the builders’ talks,
preserves this lawn against the eager Orcs
in mem’ry of a childhood Hobbit hole.
The mill that meant so much to you still stands,
and not far off the sandy place of play
you and your brother chased in, many a day,
while dreaming deep and long of bygone lands.
What was the root of writing so sublime?
Looking for England, buried under time.

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