On Merwin

by F.

The last New Yorker had the following poem by Merwin. It’s so good, it deserves to be disseminated widely. Hence:

For all the features it hoards and displays
age seems to be without substance at any time

whether morning or evening it is a moment of air
held between the hands like a stunned bird

while I stand remembering light in the trees
of another century on a continent long submerged

with no way of telling whether the leaves at that time
felt memory as they were touching the day

and no knowledge of what happened to the reflections
on the pond’s surface that never were seen again

the bird lies still while the light goes on flying

This one is entitled “Unkown Age.”