What She Read has started a new blog hop, where we pick a poem each Sunday to share. It can be our own writing or a favorite poem. April’s Poetry Month really got me thinking about getting back “into” poetry — but I’ll admit it’s been a while since I’ve picked up one of my old books or tried writing something myself. On my bookshelf I have poetry by Thomas Hardy, Pablo Neruda, Emily Dickinson, Marge Piercy and Sylvia Plath — and of course good old Will Shakespeare. Today I was overwhelmed by choices and feeling I don’t the time to do any of these authors justice (I was hoping I’d have old favorites tabbed and marked up but no, I keep my books fairly pristine).
What I picked for this Sunday is one of my favorite poems, from a writer you may not have realized is also a poet. This is the poem my husband chose to read to me at our wedding ten years ago. I think it’s absolutely beautiful and will let it speak for itself.
I would like to watch you sleeping,
which may not happen.
I would like to watch you,
sleeping. I would like to sleep
with you, to enter
your sleep as its smooth dark wave
slides over my head.
and walk with you through that lucent
wavering forest of bluegreen leaves
with its watery sun & three moons
towards the cave where you must descend,
towards your worst fear
I would like to give you the silver
branch, the small white flower, the one
word that will protect you
from the grief at the center
of your dream, from the grief
at the center. I would like to follow
you up the long stairway
again & become
the boat that would row you back
carefully, a flame
in two cupped hands
to where your body lies
beside me, and you enter
it as easily as beathing in
I would like to be the air
that inhabits you for a moment
only. I would like to be that unnoticed
& that necessary.
From Selected Poems II: 1976-1986 by Margaret Atwood. Copyright © 1987 by Margaret Atwood.