Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Stanley Kunitz: Does This Make Me Emo?

Apparently there was a poet named Stanley Kunitz. He died this week. He was a poet laureate. I had never heard of him. On the radio they talked about him as I was driving yesterday and they read this poem and it was a revelation. Not too hot. Not too cold. Just right, like baby bear's porridge.

How shall the heart be reconciled
to its feast of losses?
In a rising wind
the manic dust of my friends,
those who fell along the way,
bitterly stings my face.
Yet I turn, I turn,
exulting somewhat,
with my will intact to go
wherever I need to go,
and every stone on the road
precious to me.
In my darkest night,
when the moon was covered
and I roamed through wreckage,
a nimbus-clouded voice
directed me:
"Live in the layers,
not on the litter."
Though I lack the art
to decipher it,
no doubt the next chapter
in my book of transformations
is already written.
I am not done with my changes.