Sunday, October 21, 2007

What Are Years by Marianne Moore

What is our innocence,

what is our guilt? All are

naked, none is safe. And

is courage: the unanswered question,

the resolute doubt, -

dumbly calling, deafly listening-that

in misfortune, even death,

encourage others

and in it’s defeat, stirs

the soul to be strong? He

sees deep and is glad, who

accedes to mortality

and in his imprisonment rises

upon himself as

the sea in a chasm, struggling to be

free and unable to be,

in its surrendering

finds its continuing.

So he who strongly feels,

behaves. The very bird,

grown taller as he sings,

his form straight up. Though he is captive,

his mighty singing

says, satisfaction is a lowly

thing, how pure a thing is joy.

This is mortality,

this is eternity.

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