Thursday, October 12, 2017

Breath by Don Paterson


after Rilke 

Breath, you invisible poem -
pure exchange, sister to silence,
being and its counterbalance,
rhythm wherein I become,

ocean I accumulate
by stealth, by the same slow wave;
thriftiest of seas . . . Thief
of the whole cosmos! What estates

what vast spaces have already poured
through my lungs? The four winds
are like daughters to me.

So do you know me, air, that once sailed through me? 
You, that were once the leaf and rind 
of my every word?


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