carry you out...

ten poems for changing eye and hand

Lucille Clifton

blessing the boats

(at St. Mary’s)

may the tide
that is entering even now
the lip of our understanding
carry you out
beyond the face of fear
may you kiss
the wind then turn from it
certain that it will
love your back       may you
open your eyes to water
water waving forever
and may you in your innocence
sail through this to that


Clifton’s poem, with its lip of understanding, echoes the deep tones and phrasings of many lines from Jalalu’l-din Rumi. The language of “blessing” is quite mystical: “may you kiss / the wind” ... “may you / open your eyes to water”. The poem is a call to epiphany. None of this writing can be explained in the physical, yet the lines are full of the very real: face, fear, kiss, back, wind and eyes. And I am moved in this world of mine.

Each time I read the poem, “this to that” is larger than the universe. That, for me, is the greatness of the piece.


Collin said...

It's a simple poem with so much meaning. Thanks for posting it.

sam of the ten thousand things said...

I appreciate the comment, Collin.

Pris said...

I'm so glad you posted this. Beautiful!

sam of the ten thousand things said...

Thanks for visiting, Pris.