From What a Kingdom It Was 1960
Then it was dusk in Illinois, the small boy
After an afternoon of carting dung
Hung on the rail fence, a sapped thing
Weary to crying.
Dark was growing tal
And he began to hear the pond frogs all
Calling on his ear with what seemed their joy.
Soon their sound was pleasant for a boy
Listening in the smoky dusk and the nightfall
Of Illinois, and from the fields two small
Boys came bearing cornstalk violins
And they rubbed the cornstalk bows with resins
And the three sat there scraping of their joy.
It was now fine music the frogs and the boys
Did in the towering Illinois twilight make
And into dark in spite of a shoulder’s ache
A boy’s hunched body loved out of a stalk
The first song of his happiness, and the song woke
His heart to the darkness and into the sadness of joy.
Copyright © 2000, 2001 by Galway Kinnell