Poetry Friday – THE SHROUD by Galway Kinnell

Hello to all Poetry Friday friends!

Three reasons for my choosing this poem today:  I love what I know of the works of Galway Kinnell, and I must remind myself to look up more of his poems;  I’m being very seamstress-y lately, working on a special quilt;  I’m tempted by it to muse on the image of a shroud, and see where that musing takes me.  I hope you enjoy the poem.

                The Shroud

Lifted by its tuft
of angel hairs, a milkweed
seed dips and soars
across a meadow, chalking
in outline the rhythm
that waits in air all along,
like the bottom hem of nowhere.
Spinus tristis, which spends
its days turning gold
back into sod, rises and falls
along the wavy line the seed
just waved through the sunlight.
What sheet or shroud large enough
to hold the whole earth
are these seamstresses’ chalks
and golden needles
stitching at so restlessly?
When will it ever be finished?
                             –Galway Kinnell

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3 Responses to Poetry Friday – THE SHROUD by Galway Kinnell

  1. I’m not much of a seamstress, but this poem is inspiring me!

  2. Joyce says:

    This is truly beautiful. I love ” the bottom hem of nowhere” and the reference to goldfinches turning gold back into sod-so mush the opposite of the queen in Rumplestilskin and so much like what we do as we live our own golden lives.

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