the echo of everything that has ever

been spoken

still spinning its one syllable

between the earth and silence
W.S. Merwin, "Utterance"

"Utterance" (revised)

Then, in the late and cold light, wasps

Drank from the fallen apples and plums,

Their hunger humming in the hive, rising

And falling, a resounding paper bell, but

Now all night there is only the one cricket

In the one pine tree, the rasps of one bough

Against the eaves and the cricket's one word

Again and again, unrepeatable now there is

None to answer, not a part of speech but

Still the saying and staying of all it knows:

How the burden of holding alone the fullness

Of the heavy autumn moon threading

The pine needles with light is more than

It can bear; how above and below all is

Turning away and into the silence that

In the end and the beginning inherits

The earth; utterance that is the one note

Of a bell echoing in the pine; the terrible

Loneliness of the one who has the last word.

Poetry by countryfog
Read 1426 times
Written on 2012-10-18 at 16:56

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Lawrence Beck The PoetBay support member heart!
I don't remember reading the original, but this revised version is excellent.

Rik The PoetBay support member heart!
For me I sort of see this as 2 poems. First, a wonderfully descriptive journey. This line "how the burden of holding
Alone the fullness of the moon on its back" I find incredibly evocative. Then the twist of the last line changes it all. Either way I enjoyed it very much. To be honest sort of feel inadequate to give it justice.

Rob Graber
A most evocative text. Ah, NOT to have the last word, eh?