Poetry Friday – TO THE GRASS OF AUTUMN – W. S. Merwin

Like so many others, I love the poems of W. S. Merwin.  His descriptions of places, of landscapes, take me deep into worlds that I experience for the first time. Today I offer you this seasonal special which takes us among the grasses on a hillside–is it far away, or do you have a hillside close by?

TO THE GRASS OF AUTUMN

You could never believe
it would come to this
one still morning
when before you noticed
the birds already
were all but gone

even though year upon year
the rehearsal of it
must have surprised
your speechless parents
and unknown antecedents
long ago gathered to dust
and though even the children
have been taught how to say
the word withereth

no you were known to be
cool and countless
the bright vision on all
the green hills
rippling in unmeasured waves
through the days in flower

now you are as the fog
that sifts among you
gray in the chill daybreak
the voles scratch the dry earth
around your roots
hoping to find something
before winter
and when the white air stirs
you whisper to yourselves
without expectation
or the need to know
                    —-W. S. Merwin

                                                            

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9 Responses to Poetry Friday – TO THE GRASS OF AUTUMN – W. S. Merwin

  1. I am truly enjoying all the poems about Fall. Can imagine the crunch of the leaves and the colors.

    My favorite lines:
    “and when the white air stirs
    you whisper to yourselves
    without expectation
    or the need to know”

    – will there ever be a time when I don’t have that yearning, that need.. to know, know, and know more. Hmm… made me think. 🙂

  2. Pingback: poetry friday roundup is here! « Jama's Alphabet Soup

  3. Hello again – I see mine was not the only faulty link today, but I think Jama (bless her) has fixed them. What a haunting, lovely poem from Merwin. I love the headiness of “rippling in unmeasured waves / through the days in flower” and much more. And I enjoyed your original St. Luke poem in a previous post. Thanks for sharing.

  4. I’ve noticed on this Poetry Friday that many of the blogs have posted poems about autumn. It seems that this season inspires much beautiful poetry, like Merwin’s poem here. And why not? As Mary Oliver explains in her “Song of Autumn,”

    In the deep fall
    don’t you imagine the leaves think how
    comfortable it will be to touch
    the earth instead of the
    nothingness of air and the endless
    freshets of wind?

  5. jaykaym says:

    I have missed your posts and hope that things are ok. Please know that your readers keep you in their hearts.

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