[lit-ideas] Merwin

  • From: "Eric Yost" <mr.eric.yost@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 8 Oct 2013 17:08:42 -0400

"The River of Bees" 
by W. S. Merwin

In a dream I returned to the river of bees   
Five orange trees by the bridge and 
Beside two mills my house 
Into whose courtyard a blindman followed   
The goats and stood singing 
Of what was older 

Soon it will be fifteen years 

He was old he will have fallen into his eyes 

I took my eyes 
A long way to the calendars 
Room after room asking how shall I live 

One of the ends is made of streets   
One man processions carry through it   
Empty bottles their 
Image of hope 
It was offered to me by name 

Once once and once 
In the same city I was born   
Asking what shall I say 

He will have fallen into his mouth   
Men think they are better than grass 

I return to his voice rising like a forkful of hay 

He was old he is not real nothing is real   
Nor the noise of death drawing water 

We are the echo of the future 

On the door it says what to do to survive   
But we were not born to survive   
Only to live

W. S. Merwin, "The River of Bees" from _The Second Four Books of Poems_
(Port Townsend, Washington: Copper Canyon Press, 1993). Copyright C 1993
by W. S. Merwin.

 Source: The Second Four Books of Poems (Copper Canyon Press, 1993)

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