Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Poem of the Week 12/17/2007: Where Many Rivers Meet

Where Many Rivers Meet

All the water below me came from above
All the clouds living in the mountains
gave it to the rivers
who gave it to the sea, which was their dying.

And so I float on cloud become water,
central sea surrounded by white mountains,
the water salt, once fresh,
cloud fall and stream rush, tree root and tide bank
leading to the rivers' mouths
and the mouths of the rivers sing into the sea,
the stories buried in the mountains
give out into the sea
and the sea remembers
and sings back
from the depths
where nothing is forgotten.

David Whyte 2004

This brings to mind impermanence (as a different poem might say), even though Whyte closes with the idea that the sea will remember all of the places its particles have been. He is probably going for unity within nature, the transformation of one element into another, the great commune between things. It probably also wants to imply that we are part of it; by writing this poem, perhaps he enters the cycle, as do we, tiny, ephemeral pieces in a great, remembering whole.

1 comment:

Steven Harper said...

This poem speaks to me of the interdependence of all "things"... the joining... the constant marrying of one "thing" to another that then becomes something different and perhaps greater that the some of its parts. We live moment to moment in the place where many rivers meet to make this thing we call "self."