POETRY FORMAT, 27 Jun 2016
Pulitzer-winning poet Galway Kinnell addressed this elemental question of existence with extraordinary compassion and spiritual grace in a poem he wrote for a student of his who was contemplating suicide after the abrupt end of a romance.
Wait, for now.
Distrust everything, if you have to.
But trust the hours. Haven’t they
carried you everywhere, up to now?
Personal events will become interesting again.
Hair will become interesting.
Pain will become interesting.
Buds that open out of season will become lovely again.
Second-hand gloves will become lovely again,
their memories are what give them
the need for other hands. And the desolation
of lovers is the same: that enormous emptiness
carved out of such tiny beings as we are
asks to be filled; the need
for the new love is faithfulness to the old.
Don’t go too early.
You’re tired. But everyone’s tired.
But no one is tired enough.
Only wait a while and listen.
Music of hair,
Music of pain,
music of looms weaving all our loves again.
Be there to hear it, it will be the only time,
most of all to hear,
the flute of your whole existence,
rehearsed by the sorrows, play itself into total exhaustion.
In this recording courtesy of the Academy of American Poets, Kinnell brings his miraculously life-giving words to life:
This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 27 Jun 2016.
Anticopyright: Editorials and articles originated on TMS may be freely reprinted, disseminated, translated and used as background material, provided an acknowledgement and link to the source, TMS: Wait, is included. Thank you.
This work is licensed under a CC BY-NC 4.0 License.