Friday, July 02, 2010

Poetry Friday: Richard Wilbur, The Beautiful Changes

Richard Wilbur is one of my favorite poets (note the number of times I've posted The Writer) and The Beautiful Changes is a poem that I hold dearer every time I read it.

It reminds me a bit of e.e. cummings' somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond, in the whispering way it confesses that there's something in love that can simultaneously unnerve and complete us. Love and beauty are mysteries that grow in depth the longer we're immersed in them, the more we allow them to soak into us and become a part of us.

from the last stanza:

Your hands hold roses always in a way that
They are not only yours; the beautiful changes
In such kind ways,
Wishing ever to sunder
Things and things' selves for a second finding,
to lose
For a moment all that it touches back to

(I cannot find a spot online that appears to have permisson to reprint The Beautiful Changes in its entirety. So, you can go here, to the "search inside this book" page on Amazon, to read the whole poem. Plug in the title -- the poem is on page 392.)


The Poetry Friday roundup is at The Poem Farm.


Jeannine Atkins said...

Thank you for this, Karen. And oh, The Writer. I just took out Poetry Speaks Who I Am edited by Elise Paschen from the library, and have been listening to its hour long cd which ends with Wilbur reading that poem. I kept going back to that last track, but returned it yesterday. Think that's one I'm going to have to buy, and it's probably worth it just for that one poem. And Nancy Willard reading Houses, which kind of goes with it.

have a good weekend! My best part may be when my husband stops mowing the lawn -- noisy -- but the smell: ahhhh

Amy L V said...

"the beautiful changes in such kind ways..." This poem is enchantingly lovely. I feel lucky to have found your post today and am copying "The Writer" into my notebook.
Happy fourth!

Karen Edmisten said...

Jeannine, I've listened to him read it as well -- wonderful. Enjoy that freshly mown grass. :)

Happy 4th to you, Amy, and I'm so glad you liked the poem.