Thursday, April 24, 2014

Leaves before the Wind (May Sarton)

We have walked, looked at the actual trees:
The chestnut leaves wide-open like a hand,
The beech leaves bronzing under every breeze,
We have felt flowing through our knees
As if we were the wind.

We have sat silent when two horses came,
Jangling their harness, to mow the long grass.
We have sat long and never found a name
For this suspension in the heart of flame
That does not pass.

We have said nothing; we have parted often,
Not looking back, as if departure took
An absolute of will--once not again
(But this is each day's feat, as when
The heart first shook).

Where fervor opens every instant so,
There is no instant that is not a curve,
And we are always coming as we go;
We lean toward the meeting that will show
Love's very nerve.

And so exposed (O leaves before the wind!)
We bear this flowing fire, forever free,
And learn through devious paths to find
The whole, the center, and perhaps unbind
The mystery.

Where there are no roots, only fervent leaves,
Nourished on meditations and the air,
Where all that comes is also all that leaves,
And every hope compassionately lives
Close to despair. 

4 comments:

bluestorm said...

Ahh, so tender, almost sacred (and sacrificial at the same time).
"The mystery." . . . will remain such in order to be a mystery. And that's saddening.
Thank you for this gorgeous poem!

Iulia Flame said...

Gratitude to you for reading. This poem spoke to me and said: here I am, read me, share me. The soul of my author was human and sublime, and she was a fantastic lyric poet--who happened to be a woman.

Tim Buck said...

This poem is like a special glass of red wine, a magical substance that un-tenses the spirit, allows it to breathe slowly and rhythmically in an atmosphere of wonder and different time.

Iulia Flame said...

It gladdens me that others are able to partake, to "sip," as it were, at my "discovery". I, myself, keep returning to Sarton's poem for more sustenance... Gratitude to you for reading and commenting.

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