Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Pledge Drives and More Poetry

My local radio station is having their pledge drive this week. I became a member of this radio station approximately ten minutes before I broke my arm last January.

I'm okay with pledge drives. I even listen through some of the breaks. I like it when the people pleading for my money seem a bit self-conscious. And these three interruptions a year are a lot better than two minute commercials every ten minutes. But I do miss my uninterrupted stream of public radio at work. Sigh. I'm having information deprivation.

Yesterday (according to NPR; I did get some news between pledge breaks) W.S. Merwin won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for his book The Shadow of Sirius.

One of my very favorite poems is by Mr. Merwin. I've read it over and over, to myself and out loud to others. I've used it as an illustration, and, since it's National Poetry Month, I'll post it here.

by W. S. Merwin

with the night falling we are saying thank you
we are stopping on the bridges to bow from the railings
we are running out of the glass rooms
with our mouths full of food to look at the sky
and say thank you
we are standing by the water thanking it
smiling by the windows looking out
in our directions

back from a series of hospitals back from a mugging
after funerals we are saying thank you
after the news of the dead
whether or not we knew them we are saying thank you

over telephones we are saying thank you
in doorways and in the backs of cars and in elevators
remembering wars and the police at the door
and the beatings on stairs we are saying thank you
in the banks we are saying thank you
in the faces of the officials and the rich
and of all who will never change
we go on saying thank you thank you

with the animals dying around us
our lost feelings we are saying thank you
with the forests falling faster than the minutes
of our lives we are saying thank you
with the words going out like cells of a brain
with the cities growing over us
we are saying thank you faster and faster
with nobody listening we are saying thank you
we are saying thank you and waving
dark though it is

(The poem is published online here at Poets.org.)


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