The Denny Party Clears a Hill

Seattle was founded by members of the Denny party, most of whom arrived at Alki Beach on November 13, 1851 and then, in April 1852, relocated to the eastern shore of Elliott Bay. With the filing of the first plats on May 23,1853, the “Town of Seattle” became official. – “Seattle: A Brief History of Its Founding”

That settled it. Our hunger beckoned
We cross the bay once winter ate
Our stores; here, clearing trees, we reckoned
To tip the balance back to what
We had in Illinois, what took us
To Alki Point, and there forsook us.
So timber shivers, cedar shakes
And lumber quivers, falls and stakes
Our claim to land. We mean to bear it
When snow and rising winds combine
To needle sighs from match-stick pine.
For future’s fire (Can man endure it?)
Ignites the morning, tree by tree,
And lights our dawning industry…


  1. Brilliant.

  2. I like “that settles it”.

    • So you see what I did there.

      It came to me 2:30 a.m. this morning when I was thinking hard about the Denny Party – after I listend to an owl and our dog sing a duet out my bedroom window and I exhausted the possiblities of sonnetizing the life of Marcello Malpighi.

      One left – and if no one wants it, I’ll take us home – #38 – with a tie-in to Denny Hill which will serve as a wheelhouse for a few going themes in the thing…

      Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?


  3. Angelico Nguyen, Esq., OP says

    Brilliant, JOB. Talk about getting to the root of the story! I enjoyed all the variations on trees/wood/lumber as the stanza went along, but didn’t appreciate their deep scene-setting significance until the end — a neat ‘A-ha!’ moment. Bravo.

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