The Layers by Stanley Kunitz

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The Layers by Stanley Kunitz

Postby Diane » Mon Nov 14, 2016 1:04 pm

I have walked through many lives,
some of them my own,
and I am not who I was,
though some principle of being
abides, from which I struggle
not to stray.
When I look behind,
as I am compelled to look
before I can gather strength
to proceed on my journey,
I see the milestones dwindling
toward the horizon
and the slow fires trailing
from the abandoned camp-sites,
over which scavenger angels
wheel on heavy wings.
Oh, I have made myself a tribe
out of my true affections,
and my tribe is scattered!
How shall the heart be reconciled
to its feast of losses?
In a rising wind
the manic dust of my friends,
those who fell along the way,
bitterly stings my face.
Yet I turn, I turn,
exulting somewhat,
with my will intact to go
wherever I need to go,
and every stone on the road
precious to me.
In my darkest night,
when the moon was covered
and I roamed through wreckage,
a nimbus-clouded voice
directed me:
“Live in the layers,
not on the litter.”
Though I lack the art
to decipher it,
no doubt the next chapter
in my book of transformations
is already written.
I am not done with my changes.
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Re: The Layers by Stanley Kunitz

Postby Cate » Mon Nov 14, 2016 5:21 pm

Diane, this is beautiful, thank you for posting it.
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Re: The Layers by Stanley Kunitz

Postby LauriefromAlaska » Mon Nov 14, 2016 6:31 pm

"...feast of losses..."

Damn. Definately lots to chew on here in this poem. Thanks for sharing it.

I was thinking this weekend about poetry that might sooth through the echoing of loss and at the same time present a shift from the finality we are faced with. Even with a larger view that Life is a continuum, that initial reaction is what it is: Painful. Can't philosophize myself out of it, yet.

If I can figure out how to copy/paste with my new computer I will post one of my fave poems that I likely posted here years ago.

It is lovely to see familiar faces, Diane. I will write.

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Re: The Layers by Stanley Kunitz

Postby Diane » Tue Nov 15, 2016 10:18 am

You're very welcome, Cate x

Laurie it was such a thrill to see your name flash back up. We will keep in touch.

Off to relish The Truly Great...

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