13 September 2006

W. S. Merwin

[from W. S. Merwin’s Writings to an Unfinished Accompaniment, 1973]

The Current

For a long time some of us
lie in the marshes like dark coats
forgetting that we are water

dust gathers all day on our closed lids
weeds grow up through us

but the eels keep trying to tell us
writing over and over in our mud
our heavenly names

and through us a thin cold current
never sleeps

its glassy feet move on until they find stones

then cloud fish call to it again
your heart is safe with us

bright fish flock to it again touch it
with their mouths say yes
have vanished

yes and black flukes wave to it
from the Lethe of the whales

A Door

This is a place where a door might be
here where I am standing
in the light outside all of the walls

there would be a shadow here
all day long
and a door into it
where now there is me

and somebody would come and knock
on this air
long after I have gone
and there in front of me a life
would open

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this taste of Merwyn, Carol. I have often taken issue with his translations of certain Spanish-language poets, but I see now I should not let that prejudice me against his own original work.