Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Kathleen Raine: "I Believe Nothing"

I believe nothing—what need
Surrounded as I am with marvels of what is,
This familiar room, books, shabby carpet on the floor,
Autumn yellow jasmine, chrysanthemums, my mother's flower,
Earth-scent of memories, daily miracles,
Yet media-people ask, "Is there a God?"
What does the word mean
To the fish in his ocean, birds
In his skies, and stars?
I only know that when I turn in sleep
Into the invisible, it seems
I am upheld by love, and what seems is
Inexplicable here and now of joy and sorrow,
This inexhaustible, untidy world—
I would not have it otherwise.

"I Believe Nothing" by Kathleen Raine. Text as published in The Collected Poems of Kathleen Raine (Counterpoint, 2001).  

Art credit: "Winter Chrysanthemums," oil on panel, by Kate Sammons.

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