Stanley Jasspon Kunitz

(1905-2006 / Worcester, Massachusetts)

The Layers - Poem by Stanley Jasspon Kunitz

I have walked through many lives,
some of them my own,
and I am not who I was,
though some principle of being
abides, from which I struggle
not to stray.
When I look behind,
as I am compelled to look
before I can gather strength
to proceed on my journey,
I see the milestones dwindling
toward the horizon
and the slow fires trailing
from the abandoned camp-sites,
over which scavenger angels
wheel on heavy wings.
Oh, I have made myself a tribe
out of my true affections,
and my tribe is scattered!
How shall the heart be reconciled
to its feast of losses?
In a rising wind
the manic dust of my friends,
those who fell along the way,
bitterly stings my face.
Yet I turn, I turn,
exulting somewhat,
with my will intact to go
wherever I need to go,
and every stone on the road
precious to me.
In my darkest night,
when the moon was covered
and I roamed through wreckage,
a nimbus-clouded voice
directed me:
"Live in the layers,
not on the litter."
Though I lack the art
to decipher it,
no doubt the next chapter
in my book of transformations
is already written.
I am not done with my changes.

Topic(s) of this poem: carpe diem

Comments about The Layers by Stanley Jasspon Kunitz

  • Bharati Nayak (6/18/2016 7:58:00 PM)

    .Rise and fall are inevitable part of our life.We gain this wisdom by our own experience or by observing others.Do not be disheartened by falls (wreckage) , rather be strong to form a layer or find meaning that lie hidden under layers.A beautiful piece of work. (Report) Reply

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  • Susan Williams (6/18/2016 4:16:00 PM)

    A journey through life wonderfully soulfully written- -I must read this again and again! ! (Report) Reply

  • Mohammed Asim Nehal (6/18/2016 1:39:00 PM)

    Some wonderful experiences nicely shared.... (Report) Reply

  • (6/18/2016 9:19:00 AM)

    A beautifully conceived meaningful monologue. Thanks for sharing it here. (Report) Reply

  • Anil Kumar Panda (6/18/2016 2:45:00 AM)

    Take challenges of life in a cool way.Very nice. (Report) Reply

  • Edward Kofi Louis (6/18/2016 2:00:00 AM)

    Not to stray! Taking care of life. Thanks for sharing. (Report) Reply

  • Mehta Hasmukh Amathalal (6/18/2016 12:10:00 AM)

    Nice one, , ,19

    with no more....With no more

    I may lose identity
    With no more stability
    But my resolve
    Shall definitely solve the problem
    (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, February 19, 2015

Poem Edited: Thursday, February 19, 2015

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