Just Now

by W. S. Merwin


Original Language English

In the morning as the storm begins to blow away
the clear sky appears for a moment and it seems to me
that there has been something simpler than I could ever
believe
simpler than I could have begun to find words for
not patient not even waiting no more hidden
than the air itself that became part of me for a while
with every breath and remained with me unnoticed
something that was here unnamed unknown in the days
and the nights not separate from them
not separate from them as they came and were gone
it must have been here neither early nor late then
by what name can I address it now holding out my thanks

-- from The Pupil: Poems, by W. S. Merwin

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Commentary by Ivan M. Granger

A noticed moment. The noticed essence within the moment.

In the morning as the storm begins to blow away
the clear sky appears for a moment...


This is so often the way of it. Whatever it is we continuously search for, whether a spiritual recognition or merely contentment in the midst of a frantic world, we conceptualize this "thing" we want, we search for it, we strain for it... and it eludes us. But then, through weariness or surrender or silence, somehow we fall into the present moment, and there we discover what we have been searching for. But, while it is what we wanted, it is not what we imagined at all. It is simpler than the complicated fabrication of our minds, less defined, somehow just there.

and it seems to me
that there has been something simpler than I could ever
believe
simpler than I could have begun to find words for


It is strangely familiar, as if it has been quietly unnoticed all along. As if we just lacked the quiet eyes that could see it. "...remained with me unnoticed / something that was here unnamed..."

We so want a goal that we can acquire and claim, that we can name among our many named possessions. What do we do when the thing found is no thing at all, nameless, ungraspable, yet undeniably there in the still spaces?

by what name can I address it now holding out my thanks

We are left with a choice: We can name it nonetheless, expanding and refining our definitions, bringing it into the realm of what is known -- yet haunted by the knowledge that it is but a thin sliver of what remains unnamed. Or we can yield into the mystery of it and dwell there, in the quiet unnamed spaces, taking its home as our own.

...Or we can play the game of poets, juggling words to hint at the wordless, taunting the known with the undefinable, making our home in the spaces in between.



Recommended Books: W. S. Merwin

East Window: Poems from Asia
===
Amazon or AbeBooks
Migration: New & Selected Poems
===
Amazon or AbeBooks
The Pupil: Poems
===
Amazon or AbeBooks
Present Company
===
Amazon or AbeBooks
Sanskrit Love Poetry
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Amazon or AbeBooks
More Books >>





Just Now