My Friends Poem by William Stanley Merwin

My Friends

Rating: 3.0


My friends without shields walk on the target

It is late the windows are breaking

My friends without shoes leave
What they love
Grief moves among them as a fire among
Its bells
My friends without clocks turn
On the dial they turn
They part

My friends with names like gloves set out
Bare handed as they have lived
And nobody knows them
It is they that lay the wreaths at the milestones it is their
Cups that are found at the wells
And are then chained up

My friends without feet sit by the wall
Nodding to the lame orchestra
Brotherhood it says on the decorations
My friend without eyes sits in the rain smiling
With a nest of salt in his hand

My friends without fathers or houses hear
Doors opening in the darkness
Whose halls announce

Behold the smoke has come home

My friends and I have in common
The present a wax bell in a wax belfry
This message telling of
Metals this
Hunger for the sake of hunger this owl in the heart
And these hands one
For asking one for applause

My friends with nothing leave it behind
In a box
My friends without keys go out from the jails it is night
They take the same road they miss
Each other they invent the same banner in the dark
They ask their way only of sentries too proud to breathe

At dawn the stars on their flag will vanish

The water will turn up their footprints and the day will rise
Like a monument to my
Friends the forgotten

COMMENTS OF THE POEM
Rochelle Cashdan 18 May 2008

At the line 'My friends with nothing leave it behind in a box, ' your poem captured me.

4 1 Reply
Ratnakar Mandlik 01 October 2016

A beautiful narrative of the attributes of friends, in general. Thanks for sharing.

3 1 Reply
Edward Kofi Louis 01 October 2016

Grief moves among them! Thanks for sharing.

3 1 Reply
Anil Kumar Panda 01 October 2016

This is such a touching piece of poetry. Thanks for sharing.

2 1 Reply
Anil Kumar Panda 01 October 2016

This is such a touching piece of poetry. Thanks for sharing.Like to read again and again.

2 1 Reply
Dr Antony Theodore 09 December 2020

My friends without shoes leave What they love Grief moves among them as a fire among Its bells My friends without clocks turn the dials that turn. a fine poem. tony

0 0 Reply
Michael Walker 19 September 2019

I like particularly repetition of 'my friends', who have undergone various misfortunes. 'My friends with nothing'.

0 0 Reply
Bharati Nayak 01 October 2016

At dawn the stars on their flag will vanish The water will turn up their footprints and the day will rise Like a monument to my Friends the forgotten - - - - - - - - - - - -Perhaps the poet gives tribute to forgotten heroes of a war who lost every thing, legs, eyes or lives for the country or people.Now they are forgotten, but time will one day tell their stories.

0 1 Reply
Michael Walker 01 October 2016

A different consideration of what kind of friends you can have. M.Walker.

2 0 Reply
Mizzy ........ 01 October 2016

Very heartfelt dedication......great write!

1 1 Reply
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