Monday, January 2, 2012

Philip Levine: Let Me Begin Again

Happy 2012! Over the past few months, I've taken some time off to get settled in my new home and finish a revision of my novel. There are still plenty of boxes to be unpacked and writerly tinkering to be done, but I'm back in the blogosphere and excited for the new year!

To kick things off, here is a poem by U.S. Poet Laureate, Philip Levine. In 2012, I hope we will all remember to "love this life because it is like no other."

Let Me Begin Again
by Philip Levine

Let me begin again as a speck
of dust caught in the night winds
sweeping out to sea. Let me begin
this time knowing the world is
salt water and dark clouds, the world
is grinding and sighing all night, and dawn
comes slowly and changes nothing. Let
me go back to land after a lifetime
of going nowhere. This time lodged
in the feathers of some scavenging gull
white above the black ship that docks
and broods upon the oily waters of
your harbor. This leaking freighter
has brought a hold full of hayforks
from Spain, great jeroboams of dark
Algerian wine, and quill pens that can't
write English. The sailors have stumbled
off toward the bars of the bright houses.
The captain closes his log and falls asleep.
1/10'28. Tonight I shall enter my life
after being at sea for ages, quietly,
in a hospital named for an automobile.
The one child of millions of children
who has flown alone by the stars
above the black wastes of moonless waters
that stretched forever, who has turned
golden in the full sun of a new day.
A tiny wise child who this time will love
his life because it is like no other.

1 comment:

K. M. Johnson said...

One of my favorite poems. Levine is the greatest thing Detroit has made.