Saturday, May 09, 2009

Wordsmiths: Goodnight / They Sit Together on the Porch

desert porch - Michael DresselIt's been ages and ages since I've actually featured a wordsmith, since I moved back to Oxford, I think! So I thought I may as well do two wordsmiths at one go! I've stolen the first one from Steve McCoy's National Poetry Month blogfest. The second is from Wendell Berry, a writer who's thought long and hard about the natural world, and whom I would love to get to know more. Both, I guess, are loosely connected thematically and capture the way a day fades away beautifully. Enjoy! (Photo: Michael Dressel. For previous wordsmiths featured on this blog, click here.)

Goodnight by David Ferry
Lying in bed and waiting to find out
Whatever is going to happen: the window shade

Making its slightest sound as the night wind,
Outside, in the night, breathes quietly on it;

It is parental hovering over the infantile;
Something like that; it is like being a baby,

And over the sleep of the baby there is a father,
Or mother, breathing, hovering; the streetlight light

In the nighttime branches breathing quietly too;
Altering; realtering; it is the body breathing;

The crib of knowing: something about what the day
Will bring; and something about what the night will hold,

Safely, at least for the rest of the night, I pray.



They Sit Together on the Porch by Wendell Berry

They sit together on the porch, the dark
Almost fallen, the house behind them dark.
Their supper done with, they have washed and dried
The dishes–only two plates now, two glasses,
Two knives, two forks, two spoons–small work for two.
She sits with her hands folded in her lap,
At rest. He smokes his pipe. They do not speak,
And when they speak at last it is to say
What each one knows the other knows. They have
One mind between them, now, that finally
For all its knowing will not exactly know
Which one goes first through the dark doorway, bidding
Goodnight, and which sits on a while alone.

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