Fall 2010 • Vol. XXXII No. 4 Poetry |

From the Gray Legends

Arachne wove the gray before daylight from beyond the screen of fronds before the birds before words before the first stories before voices before Minerva's eyes were made of that same gray Arachne had her own beauty seen or unseen and she was older she was already who she was then it was day and Minerva wove in the daylight from daylight and she knew where the threads were going in their stories some of them some of the time and she claimed that she always knew Arachne claimed nothing Arachne did not have to know she could wait even when she was forgotten and she could wait to be forgotten Minerva kept seeing Arachne's weaving waiting in the daylight with the daylight passing through it the weaving reminded Minerva of something she could not see there that she could not remember Arachne's weaving even where it was broken was always perfect with a perfection that Minerva could not trace nor imitate her own wisdom laughed at her and she was angry w

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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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