The Catskills, Robert A. Sieczkiewicz
I walked into the forest yesterday.
Was so dark, visible the sky was not.
Saw Nature’s ideal seat, chose to stay.
Listen I did, not a sound in this spot.
Moved my eyes about, everything was stark.
Green, green, every damn thing I see is green!
Stop! Look! Listen! What do I hear? A Lark!
Seeking elusive Lark made my eyes keen.
Up from my seat, a step began the search.
Climb and crawl, I did it all to find out,
That all was not green such as the white birch.
Reached a stream dashing by, saw rainbow – trout.
The forest is filled with beauty so great,
All that is needed is determined gait.
You will notice how the artist has used light to pull us into the painting but in reality a forest is not like that. Upon entering you step into a shadow, much like life and that is what this poem is really about. When I was small I never left the neighborhood. Never realized how poor we were until I left my grandmother, who raised me as a child. To me it was a big scary world out there. I was safe on the little farm but that couldn’t be my life.
The Forest is the world and it is not the same as the speaker first claims. You need to get out there and explore. And what guides your exploration? The Lark represents something you believe in. Go after it. The gait is your desire to achieve it. It is that simple. Don’t sit still in the darkness.
This painting was done by Asher Brown Durand in 1859. He was a member of the Hudson River School. If you were to look at the work of these painters they have a common thread: new pathways into the hinterlands. They were not dreamers they were planners for the future.