This is the literary weblog of Jeffrey W. Hull, M.D., a pediatrician. It is intended mainly as a place to maintain a collection of poetry created for the enjoyment of a few friends and as an archive for my family. All material is protected by US copyright.

Jeffrey Hull

Friday, January 13, 2006

North Face

The north face of the mountain–
   The hardest route to climb
Where northern winds blow cruelest
   And strike at any time.

A crumbling ledge or outcrop,
   A step that goes amiss–
All threaten quick destruction
   Above the deep abyss.

Few have the inclination
   And fewer still the nerve
To risk their all for something–
   It's safer to observe.

The north face of the mountain,
   The hardest route to climb–
I never reached the summit;
   I hear the view's sublime.

© 2005 Jeffrey Hull


Hey! That's Mt. Rainier! One of the reasons I settled down from hobodom in Yakima was the dauly thrill of seeing a real live volcano -- two of 'em, Adams and Rainier, on the western horizon.

Orchards (Yakima is a major fruit-growing region), volcanoes, lngering traces of Stenbeckian fruit tramps: I felt like Robert Frost's grandson camping out in those orchards, back in the late '70s/early 80s, reading and writing poetry, living on coffee and oatmeal...

As for the poem itself, I think it needs rearrangement. It makes its point too plainly; one can see its summit from the gitgo. Consider that in the climbing of most mountains, visual foreshirtening and curvature of slope make what glimpses one has of the summit show it closer than it really is, and that such glimpses are rare.

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