A Poem for the New Year
Clearly, I am not quite ready to get back to/down to work and am enjoying this long holiday week-end. A friend sent me this from yesterday's New York Times Book Review section, and I was riveted. Hope that you are, too.
EVERY RIVEN THING
By Christian Wiman
93 pages; Farrar, Straus & Giroux; $24.
"'To believe is to believe you have been torn/from the abyss, yet stand waveringly on its rim,' Christian Wiman writes in his new book of poems, 'Every Riven Thing,' a stark and moving meditation on the nature of grief, mortality and living a life of the spirit. Mr. Wiman, who is editor of Poetry magazine, has a rare form of blood cancer, and his illness haunts many of the poems here." -- Dana Jennings, "Poems of Pain, the Raw and the Remembered," New York Times Book Review, February 9, 2011
"There comes a time when time is not enough:a hand takes hold or a hand lets go; cells swarm,
cease; high and cryless a white bird blazes beyond itself, to be itself, burning unconsumed."
from "The Reservoir", in Every Riven Thing
Every Riven Thing
God goes, belonging to every riven thing he's made
sing his being simply by being
the thing it is:
stone and tree and sky,
man who sees and sings and wonders why
God goes. Belonging, to every riven thing he's made,
means a storm of peace.
Think of the atoms inside the stone.
Think of the man who sits alone
trying to will himself into the stillness where
God goes belonging. To every riven thing he's made
there is given one shade
shaped exactly to the thing itself:
under the tree a darker tree;
under the man the only man to see
God goes belonging to every riven thing. He's made
the things that bring him near,
made the mind that makes him go.
A part of what man knows,
apart from what man knows,
God goes belonging to every riven thing he's made.
-- Christian Wiman