Mortality

after W. S. Merwin

Mortality

With every year that passes
I know my time is shorter.
I know the final breath will slip,
And one day the fight will slide.

The awkward will be ordered.
The world’s horror will subside.
My wife’s unending goodness understood.

I ponder these things, and give thanks.
Although not really comprehending,
Or knowing what’s to come.
All I know is days of rain have ceased
And birds are singing, bright and clear.

This poem was written on a course at Tŷ Newydd that covered a range of ways in which existing works of art can give rise to new poems. This poem was created from the anonymised information content of an existing, published poem: ‘For the Anniversary of My Death’ by W. S. Merwin, which can be read here. Another attendee had already stripped away the original poem’s vocabulary and form, presenting it to me as prose.

© Susan Walton 2017

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