Sunday, November 26, 2006

Mark van Doren

Morning Worship

I wake and hearing it raining.Were I dead, what would I giveLazily to lie here,Like this, and live?Or better yet: birdsong,Brightening and spreading --How far would I come thenTo be at the world's wedding?Now that I lie, though,Listening, living,(Oh, but not forever,Oh, end arriving)How shall I praise them:All the sweet beingsEternally that outliveMe and my dying?Mountains, I mean; wind, water, air;Grass, and huge trees; clouds, flowers,And thunder, and night.Turtles, I mean, and toads; hawks, herons, owls;Graveyards, and towns, and trout; roads, gardens,Red berries, and deer.Lightning, I mean, and eagles; fences; snow;Sunrise, and ferns; waterfalls, serpents,Green islands, and sleep.Horses, I mean; butterflies, whales;Mosses, and stars and gravellyRivers, and fruit.Oceans, I mean; black valleys; corn;Brambles, and cliffs; rock, dirt, dust, ice;And warnings of flood.How shall I name them?And in what order?Each would be first.Omission is murder.Maidens, I mean, and apples; needles; leaves;Worms, and planers, and clover; whirlwinds; dew;Bulls; geese --Stop. Lie still.You will never be done.Leave them all there.Old lover. Live on. I think a lot of people have forgotten the power of Mark van Doren's poetry. After all, he won the Pulitzer Prize--quite an accomplishment for a poet! I wonder if anyone will read this blog and remember this wonderful American poet.

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