THE LAUGHING THRUSH
O nameless joy of the morning
tumbling upward note by note out of the night
and the hush of the dark valley
and out of whatever has not been there
song unquestioning and unbounded
yes this is the place and the one time
in the whole of before and after
with all of memory waking into it
and the lost visages that hover
around the edge of sleep
constant and clear
and the words that lately have fallen silent
to surface among the phrases of some future
if there is a future
here is where they all sing the first daylight
whether or not there is anyone listening
— W.S. Merwin, from his Pulitzer Prize-winning book The Shadow of Sirius (2009), and found in the newly released collection The Essential W.S. Merwin (2017, Copper Canyon Press), used by permission of the publishers.
Copyright © 2017 by W. S. Merwin.
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