my birthday present

my birthday present
My awesome birthday present 1/26/11 (see story under my first post)

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

To be lost is only a failure of memory


What a gorgeous poem this is. Just what I needed today. I hope it moves you too.

A Boat
Margaret Atwood

Evening comes on and the hills thicken;
red and yellow bleaching out of the leaves.
The chill pines grow their shadows.

Below them the water stills itself,
a sunset shivering in it.
One more going down to join the others.

Now the lake expands
and closes in, both.

The blackness that keeps itself
under the surface in daytime
emerges from it like mist
or as mist.

Distance vanishes, the absence
of distance pushes against the eyes.

There is no seeing the lake,
only the outlines of the hills
which are almost identical,

familiar to me as sleep,
shores unfolding upon shores
in their contours of slowed breathing.

It is touch I go by,
the boat like a hand feeling
through shoals and among
dead trees, over the boulders
lifting unseen, layer
on layer of drowned time falling away.

This is how I learned to steer
through darkness by no stars.

To be lost is only a failure of memory.

"A Boat" by Margaret Atwood, from Selected Poems II: 1976-1986.

1 comment:

marie-josé said...

Entering a Margaret Atwood poem is like entering a temple. Even the precision of language is mystic. Not a single word is wasted. There is a sense of quest, of search, but never of loss. For that, too, is precise.