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Friday, July 06, 2012

Poetry Friday--"The Unwritten"

In our YA section is an anthology titled, Truth & Lies, edited by Patrice Vecchione [YA 808.81 TRU]. The poems within were not necessarily written for young adults, but the appeal to young adults is obvious. Here's one by W.S. Merwin.
The Unwritten

Inside this pencil
crouch words that have never been written
never been spoken
never been taught

they're hiding

they're awake in there
dark in the dark
hearing us
but they won't come out
not for love not for time not for fire

even when the dark has worn away
they'll still be there
hiding in the air
multitudes in days to come may walk through them
breathe them
be none the wiser

what script can it be
that they won't unroll
in what language
would I recognize it
would I be able to follow it
to make out the real names
of everything

maybe there aren't
it could be that there's only one word
and it's all we need
it's here in this pencil

every pencil in the world
is like this

Being lazy sort, I found a copy of the poem online and cut and pasted it here. I then noticed that there were differences between the online version and the one in Truth & Lies--words and line spacing. So, I ended up checking the whole thing against Migration: New and Selected Poems by W.S. Merwin [811.54 MER], and I think that the version above is now correct! I can only conclude that the anthology, Truth & Lies, contains some of both!

The Poetry Friday Round-Up is hosted today by Tabatha Yeatts: The Opposite of Indifference.

Photo by Nalini Prasanna.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, Diane--

    I really enjoyed that find, especially because I've been wondering if and how to use the song "Unwritten" by Natasha Bedingfield in the classroom. It's much for YA or middle school than K. Go listenin to it here

    Merwin's pencil-focused approach is quite different and yet overlaps.