w.s. merwin

"To the Tongue"

Whatever we say
we know there is another
language under this one

a word of it is always
there on the tip of you
unsayable and early
o you for whom
all the languages have been named
who have none of your own

naked sleeper in the cave
where you were born
dreamer without words
who first tasted
a verb of the world
you who speak as though
you could see

you have not forgotten
the serpent your ancestor
its fluttering inarticulate flame
of expectation
on the way to you

~ from Present Company


soubriquet said...

What is love? 'tis not hereafter;
Present mirth hath present laughter;
What's to come is still unsure:
In delay there lies no plenty;
Then come kiss me, sweet and twenty,
Youth's a stuff will not endure.

red dirt girl said...

Come slowly, Eden!
lips unused to thee,
Bashful, sip thy jasmines,
As the fainting bee,

Reaching late his flower,
Round her chamber hums,
Counts his nectars --enters,
And is lost in balms!


soubriquet said...


red dirt girl said...

well said ...xxxxx

goatman said...

Yes, "lost in balms" am I . . . .

red dirt girl said...

counting your nectars, eh goatman?!!