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The Country Of Marriage – YOUR FAVOURITE POEM


 

 marr 

I.

I dream of you walking at night along the streams

of the country of my birth, warm blooms and the nightsongs

of birds opening around you as you walk.

You are holding in your body the dark seed of my sleep.

 

II.

This comes after silence. Was it something I said

that bound me to you, some mere promise

or, worse, the fear of loneliness and death?

A man lost in the woods in the dark, I stood

still and said nothing. And then there rose in me,

like the earth’s empowering brew rising

in root and branch, the words of a dream of you

I did not know I had dreamed. I was a wanderer

who feels the solace of his native land

under his feet again and moving in his blood.

I went on, blind and faithful. Where I stepped

my track was there to steady me. It was no abyss

that lay before me, but only the level ground.

 

III.

Sometimes our life reminds me

of a forest in which there is a graceful clearing

and in that opening a house,

an orchard and garden,

comfortable shades, and flowers

red and yellow in the sun, a pattern

made in the light for the light to return to.

The forest is mostly dark, its ways

to be made anew day after day, the dark

richer than the light and more blessed,

provided we stay brave

enough to keep on going in.

 

IV.

How many times have I come to you out of my head

with joy, if ever a man was,

for to approach you I have given up the light

and all directions. I come to you

lost, wholly trusting as a man who goes

into the forest unarmed. It is as though I descend

slowly earthward out of the air. I rest in peace

in you, when I arrive at last.

 

V.

Our bond is no little economy based on the exchange

of my love and work for yours, so much for so much

of an expendable fund. We don’t know what its limits are–

that puts us in the dark. We are more together

than we know, how else could we keep on discovering

we are more together than we thought?

You are the known way leading always to the unknown,

and you are the known place to which the unknown is always

leading me back. More blessed in you than I know,

I possess nothing worthy to give you, nothing

not belittled by my saying that I possess it.

Even an hour of love is a moral predicament, a blessing

a man may be hard up to be worthy of. He can only

accept it, as a plant accepts from all the bounty of the light

enough to live, and then accepts the dark,

passing unencumbered back to the earth, as I

have fallen time and again from the great strength

of my desire, helpless, into your arms.

 

VI.

What I am learning to give you is my death

to set you free of me, and me from myself

into the dark and the new light. Like the water

of a deep stream, love is always too much. We

did not make it. Though we drink till we burst

we cannot have it all, or want it all.

In its abundance it survives our thirst.

In the evening we come down to the shore

to drink our fill, and sleep, while it

flows through the regions of the dark.

It does not hold us, except we keep returning

to its rich waters thirsty. We enter,

willing to die, into the commonwealth of its joy.

 

VII.

I give you what is unbounded, passing from dark to dark,

containing darkness: a night of rain, an early morning.

I give you the life I have let live for the love of you:

a clump of orange-blooming weeds beside the road,

the young orchard waiting in the snow, our own life

that we have planted in the ground, as I

have planted mine in you. I give you my love for all

beautiful and honest women that you gather to yourself

again and again, and satisfy–and this poem,

no more mine than any man’s who has loved a woman.

 

Wendell Berry

About poetreecreations

I am an author writer publisher web administrator I run poetry workshops in the community. My published Manners childrens poetry book can be found at www.waterstones.com

4 responses

  1. You forgot to mention it is my favourite poem: Mark Spyker (Micknail)

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  2. Thanks Poetree Creations, for bringing this poem to my attention.

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  3. stunningly beautiful!

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