Saturday, March 22, 2014

William Stafford: "Cutting Loose"

For James Dickey

Sometimes from sorrow, for no reason,
you sing. For no reason, you accept
the way of being lost, cutting loose from
all else and electing a world
where you go where you want to.

Arbitrary, sound comes, a reminder
that a steady center is holding
all else. If you listen, that sound
will tell where it is, and you
can slide your way past trouble.

Certain twisted monsters
always bar the path—but that's when
you get going best, glad to be
lost, learning how real it is
here on the earth, again and again.

"Cutting Loose" by William Stafford. Originally published as a broadside by Palaemon, 1983. Presented here as published in Dancing with Joy: 99 Poems, edited by Roger Housden. © Random House, 2009.

Photography credit: Detail from "Remembering Haiti Earthquake," by Pat Greenhouse/Boston Globe staff (originally color).


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