“Perhaps she guessed her own destiny. That happens.” ~ Carlos Fuentes, from “A Family Like Any Other”

                   

Two for Tuesday: May Sarton

Letters from Maine

Yes, I am home again, and alone.
Today wrote letters, then took my dog
Out through the sad November woods.
The leaves have fallen while I was away,
The ground is golden, while above
The maples are stripped of all color.
The ornamental cherries, red when I left,
Have paled now to translucent yellow.

Yes, I am home again but home has changed.
And I within this cultivated space
That I have made my own, feel at a loss,
Disoriented. All the safe doors
Have come unlocked and too much light
Has flooded every room. Where can I go?
Not toward you three thousand miles away
Lost in your own rich life, given me
For an hour.
Read between the lines.
Then meet me in the silence if you can,
The long silence of winter when I shall
Make poems out of nothing, out of loss,
And at times hear your healing laughter.

                   

Now I Become Myself

Now I become myself. It’s taken
Time, many years and places;
I have been dissolved and shaken,
Worn other people’s faces,
Run madly, as if Time were there,
Terribly old, crying a warning,
“Hurry, you will be dead before–”
(What? Before you reach the morning?
Or the end of the poem is clear?
Or love safe in the walled city?)
Now to stand still, to be here,
Feel my own weight and density!
The black shadow on the paper
Is my hand; the shadow of a word
As thought shapes the shaper
Falls heavy on the page, is heard.
All fuses now, falls into place
From wish to action, word to silence,
My work, my love, my time, my face
Gathered into one intense
Gesture of growing like a plant.
As slowly as the ripening fruit
Fertile, detached, and always spent,
Falls but does not exhaust the root,
So all the poem is, can give,
Grows in me to become the song,
Made so and rooted by love.
Now there is time and Time is young.
O, in this single hour I live
All of myself and do not move.
I, the pursued, who madly ran,
Stand still, stand still, and stop the sun!

                   

Music by Joshua Radin and Schuyler FiskPaper, “Paperweight”

 

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