Monday, July 18, 2011

Living Poet: Richard Wilbur


How could I miss such a
good poet?! I sat in a workshop
last week hearing about this
wonderful wordsmith!
Delight.

Here is Dana Goia with a bio
of Richard Wilbur.
He was friends with Robert
Frost. Aha..... doesn't that make
you want to hear their conversations!

Poetry is always to be read out loud.
Listen to the poet in this very
dear poem: A Wedding Toast.

About his wife as she is a reader
and a rereader: The Reader.
You as readers will know the truth
of living books and what they do
to enchant.

About waking up and it will make
you smile: Love Calls Us to the Things
of This World.

Melissa , this is for you!

The title "Love Calls Us to the Things of This World' is taken from St. Augustine. "Plato, St. Teresa, and the rest of us in our degree," says Wilbur, "have known that it is painful to return to the cave, to the earth, to the quotidian; Augustine says it is love that brings us back."

Love Calls Us to the Things of This World
Richard Wilbur


The eyes open to a cry of pulleys,
And spirited from sleep, the astounded soul
Hangs for a moment bodiless and simple
As false dawn.
Outside the open window
The morning air is all awash with angels.

Some are in bed-sheets, some are in blouses,
Some are in smocks: but truly there they are.
Now they are rising together in calm swells
Of halcyon feeling, filling whatever they wear
With the deep joy of their impersonal breathing;

Now they are flying in place, conveying
The terrible speed of their omnipresence, moving
And staying like white water; and now of a sudden
They swoon down into so rapt a quiet
That nobody seems to be there.
The soul shrinks

From all that it is about to remember,
From the punctual rape of every bless├Ęd day,
And cries,
“Oh, let there be nothing on earth but laundry,
Nothing but rosy hands in the rising steam
And clear dances done in the sight of heaven.”

Yet, as the sun acknowledges
With a warm look the world’s hunks and colors,
The soul descends once more in bitter love
To accept the waking body, saying now
In a changed voice as the man yawns and rises,
“Bring them down from their ruddy gallows;
Let there be clean linen for the backs of thieves;
Let lovers go fresh and sweet to be undone,
And the heaviest nuns walk in a pure floating
Of dark habits,
keeping their difficult balance.”

1 comment:

melissa said...

Thanks so much, Bonnie. I listened to him read it and, for some reason, it brought tears to my eyes. Or maybe that's because I've been awake since around 6am. ;)

Love to you, sweet friend.