Into the Silver Dawn -“All in green went my love riding” – e.e. cummings

medieval deer hunt


I’m on a poetry trip here lately, and not that I go looking for trouble, or even that I am actually reading poetry (that’s a trap and routine buster for me, to tell the truth, everything inconsequential – not poetry – vanishes from my radar. Very dangerous activity for me.)

So anyway, these great old poems, they just find me, (cf., Stevens’ poems, just posted) they just jump out of nowhere, out of the shadows of memory, and accost me. Like highway men, they stand in the middle of the frantic four lane interstate of my life and thoughts,
and I slam on the brakes and . . . . something sudden like this happens and I hear ….

All in green went my love riding

on a great horse of gold

into the silver dawn.


four lean hounds crouched low and smiling

the merry deer ran before.


fleeter be they than dappled dreams

the swift sweet deer

the red rare deer.


four red roebuck at a white water

the cruel bugle sang before.


horn at hip went my love riding

riding the echo down

into the silver dawn.


four lean hounds crouched low and smiling

the level meadows ran before.


softer be they than slippered sleep

the lean lithe deer

the fleet flown deer.


Four fleet does at a gold valley

the famished arrow sang before ….


e.e. cummings (1894-1963)


[The poem is still protected by copyright, so I have to stop there.

But truly the first stanza is enough to stop me in my tracks, looping and winding over and over again in my mind with something elemental, fundamental and so ancient that it rings again and again in the ear as some kind of beautiful and otherwise inexpressible melodic truth. Ah, poets, poetry. Who needs it, eh? 😉 ]






About Margaret Jean Langstaff

A lifelong critical reader with literary tastes, a novelist, short story writer, essayist, book critic, and professional book editor for many years. A consultant to publishers and authors, providing manuscript critiques and a full range of editorial services. A friend and supporter of all other readers and writers. A collector of signed modern first editions. Animal lover and tree hugger. Follow me on Twitter @LangstaffEditor
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2 Responses to Into the Silver Dawn -“All in green went my love riding” – e.e. cummings

  1. lahowlett says:

    I need it. 🙂 I have the complete book of his work. Just sorry that it’s almost all still under copyright. No recording of his poems on LibriVox for a long time. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Haha, well, obviously poetry is the air that I breathe. I could not live without it. Yes, too bad cummings’ work still protected by copyright. Would love to hear you read it Lee Ann!

    Liked by 1 person

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