Monday, October 01, 2007

Wordsmiths: Instruments (2)

This edition is dedicated to the recently departed Madeleine L’Engle. Many – including me! – did not know that her craft was not limited to prose but poetry too. This evocative piece is from Lines Scribbled from an Envelope and Other Poems.

stars and atoms
Instruments (2)

Hold me against the dark: I am afraid.
Circle me with your arms. I am made
So tiny and my atoms so unstable
That at any moment I may explode. I am unable
To contain myself in unity. My outlines shiver
With the shock of living. I endeavor
To hold the I as one only for the cloud
Of which I am a fragment, yet to which I'm vowed
To be responsible. Its light against my face
Reveals the witness of the stars, each in its place
Singing, each compassed by the rest,
The many joined to one, the mightiest to the least.
It is so great a thing to be an infinitesimal part
of this immeasurable orchestra the music bursts the heart,
And from this tiny plosion all the fragments join:
Joy orders the disunity until the song is one.

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