William Stanley Merwin

(September 30, 1927 / New York / United States)

The River Of Bees - Poem by William Stanley Merwin

In a dream I returned to the river of bees
Five orange trees by the bridge and
Beside two mills my house
Into whose courtyard a blind man followed
The goats and stood singing
Of what was older

Soon it will be fifteen years

He was old he will have fallen into his eyes

I took my eyes
A long way to the calenders
Room after room asking how shall I live

One of the ends is made of streets
One man processions carry through it
Empty bottles their
Images of hope
It was offered to me by name

Once once and once
In the same city I was born
Asking what shall I say

He will have fallen into his mouth
Men think they are better than grass

I return to his voice rising like a forkful of hay

He was old he is not real nothing is real
Nor the noise of death drawing water

We are the echo of the future

On the door it says what to do to survive
But we were not born to survive
Only to live


Comments about The River Of Bees by William Stanley Merwin

  • (3/30/2005 9:10:00 AM)


    Ethereal imagery and wise sentiment. Merwin is a strong believer in dreams as inspiration and this is a classic from a master. (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: future, city, river, house, dream, water, hope, death, rose, tree



Poem Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003



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