Balance . . . And Now For Something Completely Different
A Perfect Wish

Words on Wednesday: Poetry

I've had a rather . . . thoughtful . . . year.  I think it's just the natural rhythms of life.  Changes.  Settling.  Getting older.  I'm finally understanding that life really is fleeting, and that every day is a gift that shouldn't be squandered.

Melancholy?  Nah.  

It's just . . . getting to a point where I think about things from a new perspective.  Acceptance, maybe?  Wisdom?  Certainly a commitment to make the most out of every single day.

I think poets capture this . . . sense of things . . . in remarkable and beautiful ways.  They can distill that almost-melancholy-but-not-really feeling in just a few, perfectly chosen words.  And get it so very right!  (That's one of the reasons I like poetry so much.)

The poem I'm sharing today is by W. S. Merwin, who served as the U.S. Poet Laureate in 2010-11.  It's from his collection Garden Time, written in his late 80s as he was losing his eyesight.

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The Wings of Daylight

Brightness appears showing us everything
it reveals the splendors it calls everything
but shows it to each of us alone
and only once and only to look at
not to touch or hold in our shadows
what we see is never what we touch
what we take turns out to be something else
what we see that one time departs untouched
while other shadows gather around us
the world's shadows mingle with our own
we had forgotten them but they know us
they remember us as we always were
they were at home here before the first came
everything will leave us except the shadows
but the shadows carry the whole story
at first daybreak they open their long wings

                -- W.S. Merwin 


April is National Poetry Month.  On Wednesdays throughout the month, I'll be sharing some of the poems I love.  Thursday, April 27 is Poem in My Pocket day.  Maybe you'll join me -- and share YOUR favorite poem that day.


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Beautiful. Merwin is another of my favorite poets as well. Your first 3 paragraphs put into words so well what I have been feeling and thinking (but was finding difficulty expressing in words). For me a lot of it has to do with age (mid-60's and my husband will be 70 this year), seeing friends and family members dealing with age-related illnesses, etc. Each day truly is a gift and shame on those who don't cherish their days.


I so appreciate you introducing me to new poets and poems. Choosing the ideal words and perfectly distilling them into a poem to express things that we all recognize and feel is a real craft. Thank you for sharing.


Life is fleeting, that's a fact. If it weren't would we appreciate it as much? Lovely poem, it evokes a beautiful feeling of remembering to slow down and cherish the moments of daily life.


This poem brought tears welling in my eyes. I have been mulling over life changes this year and looking for a path to take. Everything is pointing in one direction. Thank you for sharing this poem and thank you for your thoughtful prose.


Beautiful poem! So, beautiful! Thank you for sharing! XO


lovely Kym. thank you!

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