to the new year

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I am beginning the new year looking at twigs and re-imagining the roots as I walk with hope and desires while the new year is untouched and still possible. As a young man W.S. Merwin met Ezra Pound in a windowless room at St. Elizabeth's Hospital. Pound advised the aspiring poet to begin his career, as he put it: "Study the roots, not the twigs."

forsythia vase.jpg
With what stillness at last
you appear in the valley
your first sunlight reaching down
to touch the tips of a few
high leaves that do not stir
as though they had not noticed
and did not know you at all
then the voice of a dove calls
from far away in itself
to the hush of the morning

so this is the sound of you
here and now whether or not
anyone hears it this is
where we have come with our age
our knowledge such as it is
and our hopes such as they are
invisible before us
untouched and still possible

To the New Year by W. S. Merwin

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"Study the roots, not the twigs." So true! Happy New Year...