Poem of the Week, by Galway Kinnell

Blue man group rejectA few years ago one of my favorite people and I were having dinner on the rooftop patio of a restaurant, wine for her, a gimlet for me, both of us chattering away. At one point our conversation touched on the topic of suicide, something we both had experience with, and I remember her saying that no matter awful life could be and had been, something in her always wanted to hang around if only to see “what would happen next, ” that even at its worst, life was fundamentally interesting. I told her that my best advice to myself is usually “Wait.” I read this poem today and thought of that night, and my friend. “Trust the hours.”


– Galway Kinnell

Wait, for now.
Distrust everything, if you have to.
But trust the hours. Haven’t they
carried you everywhere, up to now?
Personal events will become interesting again.
Hair will become interesting.
Pain will become interesting.
Buds that open out of season will become lovely again.
Second-hand gloves will become lovely again,
their memories are what give them
the need for other hands. And the desolation
of lovers is the same: that enormous emptiness
carved out of such tiny beings as we are
asks to be filled; the need
for the new love is faithfulness to the old.

Don’t go too early.
You’re tired. But everyone’s tired.
But no one is tired enough.
Only wait a while and listen.
Music of hair,
Music of pain,
music of looms weaving all our loves again.
Be there to hear it, it will be the only time,
most of all to hear,
the flute of your whole existence,
rehearsed by the sorrows, play itself into total exhaustion.


For more information about Galway Kinnell, please click here.

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