Friday, January 9, 2009

Poetry Friday: "Lines for Winter"

Winter can be a cold time, a lonely, inward time, a doubtful time. It can also be a time when we recognize most clearly the things that nurture us, illuminate us, and carry us through. That's why one of the New Year's Resolutions I'm looking forward to keeping in 2009 is one I'm repeating from years past, as it's made for a better year each time I've tried it--to regularly take time out of the chaos to read poetry And, so doing, to remind myself, as Mark Strand says here so evocatively, "of the tunes my bones play as [I] keep going," and the things that make me "love what [I] am." Here's hoping your New Year is likewise filled with quiet moments of illumination.

"Lines for Winter"

by Mark Strand
for Ros Krauss

Tell yourself
as it gets cold and gray falls from the air
that you will go on
walking, hearing
the same tune no matter where
you find yourself—
inside the dome of dark
or under the cracking white
of the moon's gaze in a valley of snow.
Tonight as it gets cold
tell yourself
what you know which is nothing
but the tune your bones play
as you keep going. And you will be able
for once to lie down under the small fire
of winter stars.
And if it happens that you cannot
go on or turn back
and you find yourself
where you will be at the end,
tell yourself
in that final flowing of cold through your limbs
that you love what you are.

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