Wednesday, March 9, 2016

a well-ordered soul

Here is a poem to think about and hear. 
Wiman refers to  this line by Eliot's East Coker from The Four Quartets:

I said to my soul, be still....

Listen to the poet read this poem here.


by Christian Wiman
Madden me back to an afternoon 
I carry in me
 not like a wound
 but like a will against a wound
Give me again enough man 
to be the child
 choosing my own annihilations
To make of this severed limb
 a wand to conjure 
a weapon to shatter
 dark matter of the dirt daubers' nests
 galaxies of glass
Whacking glints
 bash-dancing on the cellar's fire 
I am the sound the sun would make
 if the sun could make a sound
and the gasp of rot 
stabbed from the compost's lumpen living death 
is me
O my life my war in a jar
 I shake you and shake you
and may the best ant win
For I am come a whirlwind of wasted things
 and I will ride this tantrum back to God
until my fixed self, my fluorescent self
my grief–nibbling, unbewildered, wall–to–wall self
 withers in me like a salted slug

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