18 October 2012

Poem for the week - by William Stafford

This week, a somewhat longer poem, 14 lines ... hardly a sonnet, though, without a rhyme scheme, with lines of so divergent numbers of syllables ...

You, Reading This, Be Ready

Starting here, what do you remember?
How sunlight creeps along a shining floor?
What scent of old wood hovers, what softened
Sound from outside fills the air?

Will you ever bring a better gift for the world
Than the breathing respect that you carry
Wherever you go right now? Are you waiting
For time to show you some better thoughts?

When you turn around, starting here, lift this
New glimpse that you found; carry into evening
All that you want from this day. This interval you spent
Reading or hearing this, keep it for life --

What can anyone give you greater than now,
Starting here, right in this room, when you turn around?

The author is William Stafford (1914-1993), who lived in Kansas and Oregon; I found the poem here

The photo was taken at a museum (ah but which one...) in Ghent, Belgium, in December 2009 - outside, snow muffled sound and the air was crisp, that I do remember.

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