Two Days Too Late

Here’s your Poetry Friday, in some other time zone, or worldview: a beautiful poem by Judith Wright.

In Praise of Marriage

Not till life halved, and parted
one from the other,
did time begin, and knowledge;
sorrow, delight.
Terror of being apart, being lost,
made real the night.
Seeking and finding made
yesterday, now, and tomorrow;
and love was realized first
when those two came together.

So, perilously joined,
lighted in one small room,
we have made all things true.
Out of the I and the you
spreads this field of power,
that all that waits may come,
all possibles be known—
all futures step from their stone
and pasts come into flower.

(I do confess that I think this beauty can happen without marriage and without duality but that does not detract from Wright’s beauty.)

Also, for those of us who insist that poetry is not dead, Wright writes in her foreword to A Human Pattern:

For many years, a notion has been around that poetry is dying, if not dead. It hasn’t died, and unless a dislike generated in school and university days prevails, it won’t die.

But it is certainly in danger, just as the earth itself is in danger, from the philosophies generated by greed. Materialism, positivism, and behaviourism are foes of both poetry and the survival of the earth. They have ruled during my lifetime; but I think they are on the way out.”

2 thoughts on “Two Days Too Late

  1. “we have made all things true” – what an extravagant and ultimately untrue claim. And yet I love it regardless. (She says, typing this three days before her 15th wedding anniversary…)

    (Speaking of which, are you familiar with John Ciardi’s “Most Like an Arch This Marriage”? It was the poem we put on the cover of our wedding announcements. I remain inordinately pleased about how many people were introduced to that poem through us (including a co-worker who happened to read a copy given to another (closer) co-worker and liked it so much she immediately made a photocopy for herself.

    …I ramble. And I should remind myself of this story whenever the frets about the pointfullessness of my own versemaking crowd my horizon.)

    Mazel tov on the news wrt Parallel Press!

  2. Oh, Peg, I had not seen the poem and I do love these lines:

    Most like an arch—two weaknesses that lean
    into a strength. Two fallings become firm.

    so thank you for sharing.

    And thank you for the kind wishes about Parallel Press; I am terribly excited.

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