Poem of the Week, by W.S. Merwin

Istanbul, D and pigeonsMy daughter and I were in Istanbul for a week, our first time in a country where the call to prayer sounded five times a day. I remember sitting by the window at sunset as the song of the muezzins rose in the air. It was beautiful and unearthly and I wanted to hold onto it so it would never end. It’s an almost panicky feeling, that wanting to hold on. Long ago, as a means of coping with it, I began to tell myself that You can always come back, Alison

In my heart, pigeons are still fluttering around my daughter on the cobblestones, and we are still wandering the shore of the Bosphorus, and we are both looking up, up, up at the dome of the Hagia Sophia. And then back, back, back I go in time, to the magical moment when she first opened her eyes. Every minute of being alive is its own first and last. You can’t go back.

 

Youth, by W.S. Merwin

Through all of youth I was looking for you
without knowing what I was looking for

or what to call you I think I did not
even know I was looking how would I

have known you when I saw you as I did
time after time when you appeared to me

as you did naked offering yourself
entirely at that moment and you let

me breathe you touch you taste you knowing
no more than I did and only when I

began to think of losing you did I
recognize you when you were already

part memory part distance remaining
mine in the ways that I learn to miss you

from what we cannot hold the stars are made

 
 
 
 
 
​For more information on WS Merwin, please ​read this.