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Wait by Galway Kinnell

Pain will be interesting. And life, love, laughter. Even longing. And being alone will be interesting. Being alone will become lovely again.

Galway Kinnell

Wait, for now.
Distrust everything, if you have to.
But trust the hours. Haven’t they
carried you everywhere, up to now?
Personal events will become interesting again.
Hair will become interesting.
Pain will become interesting.
Buds that open out of season will become lovely again.
Second-hand gloves will become lovely again,
their memories are what give them
the need for other hands. And the desolation
of lovers is the same: that enormous emptiness
carved out of such tiny beings as we are
asks to be filled; the need
for the new love is faithfulness to the old.

Don’t go too early.
You’re tired. But everyone’s tired.
But no one is tired enough.
Only wait a while and listen.
Music of hair,
Music of pain,
music of looms weaving all our loves again.
Be there to hear it, it will be the only time,
most of all to hear,
the flute of your whole existence,
rehearsed by the sorrows, play itself into total exhaustion.


Update on 24 August 2011: Andrew Bird sings Wait, based on the poem above. Thank you, A. It is beautiful.

Comments (2)

  • T: another beauty! Interesting to read this “side-by-side” with Creeley, too.

  • Darren

    Wait… listen… happy flute music floats above me,
    Reading the notes of my sorrow.
    Thanks T. (and Kinnel)


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