Autumn 1953 • Vol. XV No. 4 Poetry |

Canso

I believe at dark solstice in the white moon sailing new, And in my love, and in her hand, though the green shoot withered, And in the twice-joining sea between us, and I believe I lay long with the cold dead, although the word was summer, The violent dead, and now When the sun hangs in the low branches Bleeding, and phoenix-like the white-feathered Childish sibyl sings in the leaves of the dead year, And northerly on another island She smiles into the swirling mist, her trees Half-sleeved in white, I believe Resurrection stirs like the robin Through the waters of the dead, and the buried blood, Through the rain of two islands To float like a lotus into the waking year And stand wide-eyed like a lamb; I believe the dead Mirrors of the sea shine soft with her new image always. She is clear amber and the heaven's face Seen under simple waters: there below The lights, the vessels, the shore, the drift-shells stroking The whipped weeds of the tide-race, Under the fish flying and the

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W. S. Merwin was appointed United States Poet Laureate by the Librarian of Congress in July 2010. He lives, writes, and gardens in Hawaii, on the island of Maui. He has spent the last thirty years planting nineteen acres with over eight hundred species of palm, creating a sustainable forest. The property has recently been turned into a conservancy, the Merwin Conservancy.

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