There are few poets who can write something as apparently simple as this and make it work, but Bill Merwin is one. As Larry said, when I read it to him–a poem like this really depends on the ending. This one carries the weight effortlessly.

I’ve posted a poem of Merwin’s before, and just found this one to add to the Radically Accessible Poetry collection:

A Contemporary

What if I came down now out of these
solid dark clouds that build up against the mountain
day after day with no rain in them
and lived as one blade of grass
in a garden in the south when the clouds part in winter
from the beginning I would be older than all the animals
and to the last I would be simpler
frost would design me and dew would disappear on me
sun would shine through me
I would be green with white roots
feel worms touch my feet as a bounty
have no name and no fear
turn naturally to the light
know how to spend the day and night
climbing out of myself
all my life

W.S. Merwin

As for the salon yesterday, I think it was an exceptionally fine afternoon that included memoir, a trumpet and piano duet, a sampling of Fleur de Caramel perfume, photos, art, and many poems, not to mention good food and great company.

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