by Richard Wilbur
Shall I love God for causing me to be?
I was mere utterance; shall these words love me?
Yet when I caused his work to jar and stammer,
And one free subject loosened all his grammar,
I love him that he did not in a rage
Once and forever rule me off the page,
But, thinking I might come to please him yet,
Crossed out delete and wrote his patient stet.
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Poems that use the metaphor of the language itself to express truth catch my attention by means of my love for words, and help tune my heart to the right key. This one by a favorite poet is a short and sweet example, and a song of thanksgiving I could stand to sing every day. (Stet is an editing term that means to restore text that was previously removed.)