Be of this summer


W.S. Merwin, 1927-2019, American

from The Drunk in the Furnace, 1960







Be of this brightness dyed

Whose unwrecking fever

Flings gold before it goes

Into voids finally

That have no measure.





Bird-sleep, moonset,

Island after island,

Be of their hush

On this tide that balance

A time, for a time.








Islands are not forever,

Nor this light again,

Tide-set, brief summer,

Be of their secret

That fears no other.




A platter for injera woven in sunflower pattern in 1967 of coloured cotton thread and dried grass by students of the Itegue Mennen School, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia








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