Monday, November 8, 2010

"How It Happens": a poem by W.S. Merwin

"How It Happens"

W.S. Merwin

The sky said I am watching

to see what you
can make out of nothing
I was looking up and I said

I thought you
were supposed to be doing that
the sky said Many
are clinging to that
I am giving you a chance
I was looking up and I said

I am the only chance I have
then the sky did not answer
and here we are
with our names for the days

the vast days that do not listen to us

W.S. Merwin, who is "83-going-on-27", is the current poet laureate of the United States. This poem appears in The Shadow of Sirius, for which Merwin won the Pulitzer Prize in 2009. (Thanks to Aralee for this one.)


The above fore-mentioned. said...

Beautiful, I just posted a Merwin poem on my blog a few days ago too! He is great.

M Bromberg said...

Yes, I'm an admirer too, and I think the country will benefit from his being poet laureate (in this parochial and anti-intellectual age, any poetic light is a beacon!) A friend of mine shared this poem with me and she posted it on her Facebook page as well.