Monday, January 17, 2011

to the tongue


.

.
Whatever we say
we know there is another
language under this one
.
a word of it is always there on the tip of you
unsayable and early
O you for whom 
all languages have been named
who have none of your own
.
naked sleeper in the cave 
where you were born
dreamer without words
who first tasted 
a verb of the world
you who speak as though
you could see
.
you have not forgotten
the serpent your ancestor
its fluttering inarticulate flame
or expectation
on the way to you

.
~ W. S. Merwin
from Present Company

.


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