Saturday, November 17, 2012

Poems for Shabbat XIV B



In addition to the poem that I had already selected for this week (see the previous posting), I added one that somehow suits my mood these days, with the war going on in Israel, in and south of Tel Aviv, and Gaza.

Boy at the Window - Richard Wilbur (1921-)

Seeing the snowman standing all alone
In dusk and cold is more than he can bear.
The small boy weeps to hear the wind prepare
A night of gnashings and enormous moan.
His tearful sight can hardly reach to where
The pale-faced figure with bitumen eyes
Returns him such a God-forsaken stare
As outcast Adam gave to paradise.

The man of snow is, nonetheless, content,
Having no wish to go inside and die.
Still, he is moved to see the youngster cry.
Though frozen water is his element,
He melts enough to drop from one soft eye
A trickle of the purest rain, a tear
For the child at the bright pane surrounded by
Such warmth, such light, such love, and so much fear.

(found in Garrison Keillor (ed.), Good Poems, and in Richard Wilbur, Collected Poems 1943-2004)

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