Wednesday, March 20, 2019

R.I.P. W.S. Merwin

Once Later

It is not until later
that you have to be young

it is one of those things
you meant to do later

but by then there is
someone else living there

with the shades rolled down
how could you have been young there

at that time
with all that was expected

then what happened to
the expectations

there is no sign of them there
a shadow passes across the window shade

what do they know in there
whoever they are

W.S. Merwin
published in New York Review of Books
May 7,2015

Rain Light

All day the stars watch from long ago
my mother said I am going now
when you are alone you will be all right
whether or not you know you will know
look at the old house in the dawn rain
all the flowers are forms of water
the sun reminds them through a white cloud
touches the patchwork spread on the hill
the washed colors of the afterlife
that lived there long before you were born
see how they wake without a question
even though the whole world is burning

W.S. Merwin
 the New Yorker
March 2008

W.S. Merwin, a hero among poets, who not only defended forests in his work, he planted a forest.   The world he spoke for has lost a voice.  And tomorrow we wake without question, even though the whole world is burning.