Last week’s Mary Oliver poem turned out to be prescient, as she sadly passed away that very day. I have no doubt that her finely crafted yet accessible poems began their legacy decades ago and while I’m sad she won’t be writing anymore, I look forward to seeing poets continuing to cite her influence.
This week’s poem is by WS Merwin, another American poet. His verse is simultaneously vast and particular, something I love. This poem paints a clear picture; I can imagine both the narrator and the scene. I had a hard time choosing a poem as the whole book was beautiful!
Long afternoon light
Small roads written in sleep in the foothills
how long ago and I believed you were lost
with the bronze then deepening in the light
and the shy moss turning to itself holding
its own brightness above the badger’s path
while a single crow sailed west without a sound
we trust without giving it a thought
that we will always see it as we see it
once and that what we know is only
a moment of what is ours and will stay
we believe it as the moment slips away
as lengthening shadows merge in the valley
and a window kindles there like a first star
what we see again comes to us in secret
And as a bonus, I have decided to be brave and share a draft of a poem I wrote a few years ago, because Merwin’s poem reminded me of it. As yet, it remains untitled.
A second ripples through
the honeyed light,
and when the tick hits
the stone boundary
suddenly, a hundred years
have been captured
like a bubble in amber.
Less than the blink
of an eye, and the fields
have flowered and lain fallow
fifty times over and the sheep
have given a hundred winters of wool.