The Poet’s gentlest reminder when we are sad




W.S. Merwin,1927-2019, American

from  Garden Time, 2016 


There are so many words for sadness
and for joy so few
maybe none
that can tell
the sound of that secret spring
welling up from before words
though when its voice rises
within us
we want to be able to tell
someone about it
if they will stay to hear
talk about
what is beyond words
sadness can rise in us
in the midst of happiness
and joy can take us by surprise
in the midst of great sadness
both of them know us
from before we were here
but if we speak to them
only sadness lingers
to hear us out

joy disappears
to wait for us it may be
where we least expect it.