April 15, 2021

Halvard Johnson – Thirteen Variations on a Line by R

Halvard Johnson

Thirteen Variations on a Line by Robert Frost

                        “Whose woods these are I think I know.”

1.          I think I know whose timberland this is.

2.          I know, I think, to whom these woods belong.

3.          Betcha I know whose weald that is.

4.          According to my mode of thinking, I have pertinent knowledge
             regarding the identity of the personage yon forest attaches to.

5.          My current speculations suggest that I am cognizant of
             the proprietary state of that particular grove of tall woody plants.

6.          That specific clump of potential planks, laths and boards
             is the property of a human being I have the capability of knowing.

7.          The ownership of that forest is known to me.

8.          This bosque, the very Such-ness of which now presents itself to
             me with such immediacy and terror that I stop dead in my tracks
             to, with all humility, gape open-mouthed at their individual
             Zusammenkeit, is held, in perpetuity or until hell
             freezes over, by One whose ownership of them is totally and
             forever beyond question.

9.          The tract of trees in question is legally among the possessions
             of one whose name is not unknown to me.

10.        Ed Becker is the name of the guy who owns this woody acreage,
             having inherited it from his father, Horace Becker, who bought
             it off a man named Edwards, whose family lived on it for
             seven generations prior, the house in which they lived falling
             into disrepair and local disrepute, gradually succumbing
             to winter and summer upheavals and falling slowly
             back into the earth from which nearly three centuries before
             it had, most laboriously, been raised up.

11.        Know I think I are these woods whose.

12.        That copse is chattel to a party whose ownership of said copse,
             withal, is not to be lightly questioned, at least
             by . . . yr humble servant.

13.        Someone I know deludes himself with the idea that he owns
             this stand, this matrix of mixed growth—elm, oak, fir,
             maple, birch—and tangles of vine and bush, hospice
             to squirrel and fox and deer among the larger
             animals resident here, mouse and vole and termite, among
             the smaller, leaving yet room for birds, bees, and insects
             of all stripe, slugs and worms and ants—both red and black—
             flies, mosquitoes, gnats, down to the smallest
             of beings breeding in the sheen
             of moisture lodged however
             temporarily upon
             a single

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