I feel limp and tired this evening. I want to write something wonderful, but I have no wonderful inside me tonight. Instead I have lists of things I need to do, or am afraid to do, or want to do, but don’t know how.
So, just because of all that, I’ll give you tonight a favorite poem: one I love to reread, and read aloud, and think about. One that, on my better days, inspires me to write and makes me happy to know that someone in this wide world really knows how to put words together.
Our shells clacked on the plates.
My tongue was a filling estuary,
My palate hung with starlight:
As I tasted the salty Pleiades
Orion dipped his foot into the water.
Alive and violated,
They lay on their beds of ice:
Bivalves: the split bulb
And philandering sigh of ocean.
Millions of them ripped and shucked and scattered.
We had driven to that coast
Through flowers and limestone
And there we were, toasting friendship,
Laying down a perfect memory
In the cool of thatch and crockery.
Over the Alps, packed deep in hay and snow,
The Romans hauled their oysters south to Rome:
I saw damp panniers disgorge
The frond-lipped, brine-stung
Glut of privilege
And was angry that my trust could not repose
In the clear light, like poetry or freedom
Leaning in from sea. I ate the day
Deliberately, that its tang
Might quicken me all into verb, pure verb.
— Seamus Heaney