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.