Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Sensible Life

Liz Waldner (2008)

In the beginning
there was a meanness and it spread.

Perhaps I absorbed it, so that whatever I saw
was filtered through the meanness.

I don’t mean “stingy,” stinginess,
as do British novelists, by the way.

Although a lacking generosity—
the ability to will that there be

someone Other than Oneself was certainly
a kind of cause.

In the beginning, then,
it was willed that I not be.

This shamed me, however good
an act I learned to put on.

And now it is fifty years later.
I have a profound interest in freedom, I notice,

and an urgent sense of little time.
Little time. Near Little Gidding.

I ween ken reckon have on
the British women novelists I have loved.

I have to mean their novels, of course.
“Queen of the Tambourine.” “The Vacillations of Poppy Carew.”

“Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit.”
Behold, how the outcast makes good.

“Time” is a word. “Love” is a word.
Between them are words and between them

an entrance. I pray to be
entranced, starting right now again I do.

I am old enough to understand
being willing

to go on is a great gift.

2 comments:

dan said...

from The New Yorker (Jan 5, 2009)

dan said...

Apparently the real title of this poem is:

"The Sovereignity and the Goodness of God, Together with the Faithfulness of His Promises Displayed"