Variations to the Accompaniment of a Cloud

W. S. Merwin

  Because I do not hope ever again
to pass this way I sing these
notes now in silence
each in its own time
one morning near the end of spring
among the invisible unheard stars I sing
this one time with the hope that is here
in every breath
may these notes be heard another morning
in another life
in another spring together

      Because I do not hope ever to pass
this way again
one morning late in spring
in the cold rain above the valley I sing
in the old house I came to in my youth
on the ridge looking over the river
a house that had been left to its own silence
for half a century
home for bats and swallows and patches
of sunlight wandering across the floors
under holes in the roof on the day
I first saw it
and recognized it without knowing it

W. S. Merwin was an American poet. He won the Pulitzer Prize twice, a National Book Award for Poetry, and the Tanning Prize, among others, and was the 17th U.S. Poet Laureate.
Originally published:
January 1, 2016

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