Monday, September 11, 2006

On a grey, rainy 11 September

A poem that I love for its ambiguity-- I've seen it used as a statement of faith in the face of everything, but today it strikes me as bleak and terrible.


Listen

with the night falling we are saying thank you

we are stopping on the bridge to bow from the railings
we are running out of glass rooms
with our mouths full of food to look at the sky
and say thank you
we are standing by the water looking out
in different 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
in a culture up to its chin in shame
living in the stench it has chosen 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 back door
and the beatings on stairs we are saying thank you

in the banks that use us we are saying thank you

with the crooks in office with the rich and fashionable
unchanged we go on saying thank you thank 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 like the earth

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.


- W.S. Merwin

4 Comments:

At 9:11 AM, Blogger revabi said...

Anna,
I like this, who wrote it?

 
At 10:46 PM, Blogger Anna said...

W.S. Merwin, though I'm not sure which of his books it's in.

 
At 12:55 AM, Blogger Questing Parson said...

Wow! Thank you!

 
At 9:07 AM, Anonymous Mary Beth said...

I love love love this. It's the epigraph (?) in one of Anne Lamott's books.

Did I mention I love this?

THanks for it!


Happy Delurking Week! @ RevGals

 

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