W.S. Merwin

The Air is Still Alive around Where You Were

To Myself
by W.S. Merwin, from Present Company

Even when I forget you
I go on looking for you
I believe I would know you
I keep remembering you
sometimes long ago but then
other times I am sure you
were here a moment before
and the air is still alive
around where you were and I
think then I can recognize
you who are always the same
who pretent to be time but
you are not time and who speak
in the words but you are not
what they say you who are not
lost when I do not find you

Saying Thank You

Matt, Lake Erie, Ripley, New York, August 7, 2011

Thanks
by W.S. Merwin, from Migration: New & Selected Poems

Listen
with the night falling we are saying thank you
we are stopping on the bridges 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 thanking it
smiling by the windows looking out
in our 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

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 door
and the beatings on stairs we are saying thank you
in the banks we are saying thank you
in the faces of the officials and the rich
and of all who will never change
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
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

The Way It Is

“My mother always said, ‘Billy’s never bored.’ All my life I’ve listened to the rain. I think it’s utterly mysterious. Every raindrop falls just once and you only hear it at the end of its fall. . . 

The comets burn out and the black holes disappear. There’s nothing good or bad about that. That’s the way it is. I don’t know where I come from and I don’t know where I’m going and it’s wonderful to be here.”

~ W.S. Merwin, from a conversation with Maggie Galehouse, Houston Chronicle, April 22, 2012

Monday, May 7, 2012

Waiting for the Weekend

Waiting for the Weekend

isn’t there some value in motivating ourselves through unpleasant tasks and activities by imagining the relief that will follow? Is there really anything wrong with taking a bit of comfort during a tedious meeting or lecture on Wednesday morning by imagining how much fun we’re planning to have on Friday evening?