Thursday, August 31, 2006

A Poem in My Pocket

For several years there has been a poem that I keep in my notebook - which frequently is the only thing even slightly resembling a pocket that I carry around with me. It has a copyright so I am simply going to provide you with the link... The Unwritten by W. S. Merwin.

For More Poetry Thursday


Blogger robin andrea said...

I haven't thought of WS Merwin in years. What a wonderful poem.

When I do think of Merwin I always remember this story. I volunteered at Naropa Institute in 1982 for the Kerouac Conference, and people were still talking about the Great Naropa Poetry Wars, and WS Merwin was a central figure in the story. It's really quite a story.

11:15 PM  
Blogger Paul Decelles said...

Wonder choice I love this poem especially:

" it could be that there's only one word
and it's all we need
it's here in this pencil
every pencil in the world
is like this"

And I like that your link has it's own little prompt!

11:47 PM  
Blogger Ontario Wanderer said...

Nice start for a poem
I think there may be
a novel
in my pencil
It may be trapped.

5:24 AM  
Blogger Tammy said...

Great poem to keep in your journal. I often feel these sentiments.

11:34 AM  
Blogger MB said...

Thanks, Endment. I can see why you carry it with you.

And thanks to Robin for the story I had not heard. Bizarre. But it was the 70s, eh? That says a lot right there.

1:22 PM  
Blogger Chancy said...

Endment Thanks so much for the link to the poem. That poem and the thought of a pencil holding the words I need to write has gotten me thinking and musing about some of my hidden words.

4:37 PM  
Blogger kerrdelune said...

Endment, this poem is a great wonder, and I thank you for it - it is just what I needed today, and it is lovely..

5:30 PM  
Blogger jim said...

I've heard this story about Merwin many times over, and it's achieved something of a fable quality to it. Too bad it still comes up as it seems like so much nonsense/gossip (even if it is all true) in relief of the poetry itself.

This poem has such a perfect ending.

5:59 PM  
Anonymous Fran aka Redondowriter said...

Thanks for sharing Merwin's poem, Endment. When I went to the Sun Valley Writer's Conf. in the late '90s, he was there reading his work and sitting on writer's panels. I like his work so much and have an autographed copy of one of his books. He and his wife hung out with Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath, as I recall from reading one of the Sylvia biographies. And your link was to my friend Kay Adam's page; I'm alerting her to the fact that you have linked to an post. She'll love it.

1:55 AM  
Anonymous Maureen/RavenGrrl said...

the perfect poem for today. you and I have crossed paths at the intersection of "Merwin" and "Flickr" before I seem to recall. I have read and savored his poetry ever since I was introduced to it by my favorite art professor at UW in 1973. This is also one of my favorites of Merwins (often very dark) poems. I love thinking of this part especially:

they're hiding
they're awake in there
dark in the dark
hearing us
but they won't come out
not for love for time for fire
even when the dark has worn away
they'll still be there

maybe our hidden words have never been taught but we have learned them nevertheless

maybe our hidden words are hiding in our shadows - Merwin says dark in the dark -- they are words we would rather not acknowledge and even if we want to bring them out, they sutbbornly refuse to come out into the light -- not even for fire or for love. Isn't that the way it is with our shadow selves? Dark in the dark lie the real names of everything. Dark in the dark ... that phrase has such a numinous quality, for me: it needs to be whispered.

Thank you for reminding me of this awesome poem, Endment.

I like that your pocket is your notebook -- mine too. most of my clothes don't have pockets. [grin]

5:05 PM  
Blogger Sky said...

great poem, endment! my thanks to robin for the link to the interesting story about merwin at the naropa institute. fascinating.

10:04 PM  
Blogger Potato Print said...

Oh Endment,
That poem gave me shivers. I'm all caught up in politics and unfairness and too much work at my job. This brought me back to the crackling campfire in the dark night.

Thanks also for your words on my post about gray hair. Yours looks really beautiful in the photo.

7:48 PM  
Blogger HoBess said...


9:33 AM  
Blogger pepektheassassin said...

Thanks for the W.S.Merwin. I met him once! You always post just the right thing!

1:58 PM  
Anonymous david said...

relished the poem you mention. i have browsed your archives and enjoy your creative skills in poetry, photography, and reflection. you have selected a wonderful space on the planet to live.

it was fun reading about the author of your literary friend, tibby.

thanks for sharing

12:24 AM  
Blogger Mary said...

A powerful poem. Dark in the dark. Yes indeed.

Thank you Endment for this introduction.

1:29 AM  
Blogger liz elayne said...

thank you for sharing this poem. beautiful.

2:41 AM  
Blogger herhimnbryn said...


9:33 AM  

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