Poem of the Week

Hi (virtual) friends,

I’m sorry for my recent absence, but not TOO sorry– I’ve been in sunny California, and it is marvelous.  Mountains, oceans, cool breezes, lots of good food… it’s been wonderfully vacation-y.

And yet, I am still making time to share this gorgeous poem with you.  It is by W.S. Merwin, who was just named the new U.S. Poet Laureate, a job the Library of Congress describes as ““the nation’s official lightning rod for the poetic impulse of Americans.”  Merwin currently lives atop a dormant volcano in Maui; it’s unclear whether he will relocate to the mainland or conduct his laureate duties from afar.

Anyway, here’s a poem:

Listen

by W.S. Merwin

with the night falling we are saying thank you
we are stopping on the bridge to bow from the railings
we are running out of the glass rooms
with our mouths full of food to look at the sky
and say thank you
we are standing by the water looking out
in different directions

back from a series of hospitals back from a mugging
after funerals we are saying thank you
after the news of the dead
whether or not we knew them we are saying thank you
in a culture up to its chin in shame
living in the stench it has chosen we are saying thank you

over telephones we are saying thank you
in doorways and in the backs of cars and in elevators
remembering wars and the police at the back door
and the beatings on stairs we are saying thank you
in the banks that use us we are saying thank you
with the crooks in office with the rich and fashionable
unchanged we go on saying thank you thank you

with the animals dying around us
our lost feelings we are saying thank you
with the forests falling faster than the minutes
of our lives we are saying thank you
with the words going out like cells of a brain
with the cities growing over us like the earth
we are saying thank you faster and faster
with nobody listening we are saying thank you
we are saying thank you and waving
dark though it is

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s