To a Tortoiseshell Lyre

Do you know how beautiful you are
did you ever know such a thing

oh hollow cradle of light
large as an empty embrace
shape of old waves
and of supplication and offering
fashioned out of all
the ambers of memory

here at the center
at the deepest part
where your heart has been
the notes were plucked
once according to
a time of music
to accompany the singing
that someone claimed
would be here forever

here your heart began
as an echo
in answer to the sea
here once you heard
how the light came through it
 

Presented by

W. S. Merwin received the 2009 Pulitzer Prize in poetry for The Shadow of Sirius. His many works of poetry and translation include Present Company (2007), Migration: New and Selected Poems (2005), and a version of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (2004). He lives in Hawaii.

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