25.9.09

hungers for the sweet of speech...

Wendell Berry

The Silence


Though the air is full of singing
my head is loud
with the labor of words.

Though the season is rich
with fruit, my tongue
hungers for the sweet of speech.

Though the beech is golden
I cannot stand beside it
mute, but must say

“It is golden,” while the leaves
stir and fall with a sound
that is not a name.

It is in the silence
that my hope is, and my aim.
A song whose lines

I cannot make or sing
sounds men’s silence
like a root. Let me say

and not mourn: the world
lives in the death of speech
and sings there.

*

I'm in a very what-is-poetry-all-about mindset. The distance between people ... and ideas. The spaces between words. The empty between moments. And Berry hits the spot for me. He always does.

7 comments:

Jessie Carty said...

he amazes me with how he can say so much with so few words. my favorites "I cannot make or sing
sounds men’s silence
like a root"

sam of the ten thousand things said...

I agree with you, Jessie. Thanks for reading.

Pris said...

This is lovely. Thanks for posting it.

sam of the ten thousand things said...

Thanks, Pris.

esk said...

Love this:

Though the season is rich
with fruit, my tongue
hungers for the sweet of speech.

Good stuff!

sam of the ten thousand things said...

Great lines. Thanks for the visit.

M. C. Allan said...

I hadn't read this one before. Thanks for posting it.

One of my favorites on this is Charles Wright's "Looking Outside the Cabin Window, I Remember a Line by Li Po." The whole piece is amazing, but the last lines give me chills:

We who would see beyond seeing/see only language, that burning field.