No. VIII, from Nine Evocations

“The bird lies still while the light goes on flying.”
From “Unknown Age,” by W. S. Merwin
 
Those with strapped-on wings
for ages dreamt of flying like the birds
 
and fell from cliffs broke limbs or died.
But when I ask for the wind’s help
 
getting beyond the mind’s bent roads
and its dead ends it sighs and says
 
(with a whoosh) I’ll take you there
just as soon as all your words are ash.

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

Callanan, a professor and novelist from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, will be awarded the $25,000 Catholic literary prize.
The EditorsJune 22, 2017
Retired San Francisco Archbishop John R. Quinn, left, is pictured in a 2004 photo in Saginaw, Mich. He died June 22 at age 88 in San Francisco. He headed the Northern California Archdiocese from 1977 until 1995. (CNS photo/Brett McLaughlin, Catholic Weekly)
Retired Archbishop John R. Quinn of San Francisco, who led the Northern California archdiocese for 18 years, died on June 22 after a long illness. He was 88.
Daniel Oreskes, Michael Aronov, and Anthony Azizi (foreground) with Daniel Jenkins and Jeb Kreager (background). Photo by T. Charles Erickson
Like all the best historical narratives, “Oslo” shows the intense fragility and contingency of human affairs
Rob Weinert-KendtJune 22, 2017
Senate proposal could “wreak havoc on low-income families and struggling communities, and must not be supported,” the bishops said in a statement released on Thursday evening.