What the Earth Offers by Corbin Buff

What the Earth Offers

At that point where the land had bested us
(Its paths too steep, its briars too thick)
We gave up and came down toward water,
That yet-untainted haven of sea and sky and sound.

And what a surrender it was, that coming down:
The glory of the land giving way to water,
Fish quiet and dreaming in its half-lit depths.

I remembered then the story of water,
How it stood formless, dark, and deep,
Until the unmoved mover moved upon it
And so carved with light the earth’s first poem;
A poem of life and leaf and song;
One of darkness, longing, grief.
A small song for every traveler,
A shield for every trial.

By Corbin Buff, first published in Bird’s Thumb.

Editor’s Note: The repetition in this poem lulls the reader into a state of watchful appreciation. The nod to Frost’s poem in line nine reinforces this dreamy state.


One response to “What the Earth Offers by Corbin Buff”

  1. Corbin Avatar

    Thanks for this, Christine. I never even noticed the “nod” to the Frost poem, though it is my very favorite of his. Funny how those slip in unconsciously sometimes!

    Thanks again,



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