Thursday, April 29, 2004

POEM OF THE DAY. Poetry Month is winding down. I may have to extend it, since I missed so much of it. Here is another by William Carlos Williams. It is called "The Gift".

As the wise men of old brought gifts
guided by a star
to a humble birthplace

of the god of love
the devils
as an old print shows
retreated in confusion.

What could a baby know
of gold ornaments
or frankincense and myrrh,
of priestly robes
and devout genuflections?

But the imagination
knows all stories
before they are told
and knows the truth of htis one
past all defection

The rich gifts
so unsuitable for a child
though devoutly proffered,
stood for all that love can bring.

The men were old
how could they know
of a mother's needs
or a child's

But as they kneeled
the child was fed.
They saw it
gave praise!

A miracle
had taken place,
hard gold to love,
a mother's milk!
their wondering eyes.

The ass brayed
the cattle lowed.
It was their nature.

All men by their nature give praise
It is all
they can do.

The very devils
by their flight give praise.
What is death,
beside this?

Nothing. The wise men
came with gifts
and bowed down
to worship
this perfection.

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