POETRY: The Land Of Silence by May Sarton

The Land Of Silence by May Sarton


Time beats like a heart; we do not hear it
But we are nourished as by sleep after pain.
Death is so close to life that we can bear it.
The smallest veins drink time and breathe again.


The horizon is inhabited by mountains,
The foreground presents birds.
In the morning I saw the gray dove
In the bare trees, active as a mother,
And in the evening without words
The intense violet light
Lifted the mountains away into night.
And I knew I did not have to make a choice
But only to look at each thing as it came,
To look as one might listen to a voice
Unknown, but calling a familiar name.


Now I am here in the land of silence,
Of the near dove and the distant hills,
I know that the surface is the essence,
No stripping down to what is already bare,
No probing what is absolutely here.
This is the land of bones and violent dreaming
Where Heaven is woven in and out of Hell
And each not essence but actual and near.

Even more than love we search for faith
Who in this high air must gasp for breath.

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