Galway Kinnell

(1 February 1927 / Providence, Rhode Island)

Wait - Poem by Galway Kinnell

Wait, for now.
Distrust everything, if you have to.
But trust the hours. Haven't they
carried you everywhere, up to now?
Personal events will become interesting again.
Hair will become interesting.
Pain will become interesting.
Buds that open out of season will become lovely again.
Second-hand gloves will become lovely again,
their memories are what give them
the need for other hands. And the desolation
of lovers is the same: that enormous emptiness
carved out of such tiny beings as we are
asks to be filled; the need
for the new love is faithfulness to the old.

Don't go too early.
You're tired. But everyone's tired.
But no one is tired enough.
Only wait a while and listen.
Music of hair,
Music of pain,
music of looms weaving all our loves again.
Be there to hear it, it will be the only time,
most of all to hear,
the flute of your whole existence,
rehearsed by the sorrows, play itself into total exhaustion.

Comments about Wait by Galway Kinnell

  • Gajanan Mishra (6/10/2014 7:11:00 AM)

    flute of whole existence, I like it, thanks. (Report) Reply

    2 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Soumita Sarkar (6/10/2014 5:15:00 AM)

    liked it so much.............not to give up soon..............waiting can be interesting. (Report) Reply

  • (6/10/2014 4:20:00 AM)

    A beautiful poem of life events in its sorrow and loss situations and I felt it very interesting. (Report) Reply

  • (5/31/2014 2:17:00 PM)

    ......a very creative write....never heard this music before....
    ~Music of hair,
    Music of pain,
    music of looms weaving all our loves again.~
    (Report) Reply

  • (6/10/2013 11:02:00 PM)

    Profound sentiments, true human expression! (Report) Reply

  • (9/22/2012 10:49:00 AM)

    the poem becomes animated in the beautiful andrew bird version: http: // v=wx6ikxdNfbU&feature=BFa&list=PL4958B23BB2E74595 (Report) Reply

  • (6/10/2012 5:38:00 PM)

    i can't wait any longer;
    it's killing me
    (Report) Reply

  • (12/4/2004 6:08:00 PM)

    This has always been a favorite Kinnell poem of mine. The imagery is rich and the advice the speaker gives the younger person who is contemplating suicide is so practical 'Wait' and even 'Distrust everything, if you have to./ But trust the hours. Haven't they/ carried ' to this point and won't they carry the young person from this point onward. A beautiful poem! (Report) Reply

Read all 8 comments »

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Read poems about / on: music, hair, trust, pain, memory

Poem Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

Poem Edited: Wednesday, June 6, 2012

[Report Error]