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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 6: January 2021
Ekphrastic Poem: 131 words
+ Visual Art: Painting [R]
By Karen George

Emily Carr: Scorned as Timber,
Beloved of the Sky


Ninety percent sky over rolling hills 
dotted with squat growth 
dark green, charred black, 
blue of mountain, maybe sea. 

Three parallel spindly trees 
bare except for tufts of apex foliage, 
each trunk shorter by half, thinner 
than the one to its left, 
the tallest near the scene’s ceiling. 

Rejected by loggers. Diseased? 
No room on the truckbed? Markers—
where workers left off, of the hacked 
splendor, the heft of their theft. 

Behind the beloved trio, arced discs 
vibrate outward in waves—
the trees’ radiance, or clouds, or smoke? 
The rings closest to earth rise 
dark as dregs of ruin. 

One wonders how long these three, so exposed, 
will stand, and if the greed of roots 
can hold all that height. 



Scorned as Timber, Beloved of the Sky, 1931 painting by Emily Carr

Publisher’s Notes:

1. Scorned as Timber, Beloved of the Sky (oil on canvas, 1931) by Canadian artist and writer Emily Carr (1871–1945) is on loan to the Vancouver Art Gallery.

Image above was downloaded from Wikimedia, which states the artwork “is in the public domain in Canada because its copyright has expired due to one of the following:

• it was subject to Crown copyright and was first published more than 50 years ago; or it was not subject to Crown copyright, and

• it is a photograph that was created prior to January 1, 1949, or

• the creator died more than 50 years ago.”

2. To learn more about Carr’s vision of the landscape of British Columbia, see Significance and Critical Issues, in Lisa Baldiserra’s feature Emily Carr: Life & Work in Art Canada Institute.

(To navigate from section to section of Baldissera’s feature, click on links just below the text-block and above the bar that references her bio.)


Karen George
Issue 6, January 2021

is the author of five chapbooks, and two collections from Dos Madres Press: Swim Your Way Back (2014) and A Map and One Year (2018). Her work appears in The Ekphrastic Review, Valparaiso Poetry Review, The Adirondack Review, Salamander, and Naugatuck River Review. She reviews poetry at Poetry Matters.

Author’s website: https://karenlgeorge.blogspot.com/

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