Because New Years is over and I still feel old

Few poets describe the act of looking back on one’s own life with as much tenderness as U.S Poet Laureate W.S. Merwin. I have come across this particular poem of his several times in the past year and each time it hits me in a way that only a poet both universally human and deeply personal could affect. -Olivia

In the Winter of My Thirty-Eighth Year

BY W. S. MERWIN

It sounds unconvincing to say When I was young
Though I have long wondered what it would be like
To be me now
No older at all it seems from here
As far from myself as ever
.
Walking in fog and rain and seeing nothing
I imagine all the clocks have died in the night
Now no one is looking I could choose my age
It would be younger I suppose so I am older
It is there at hand I could take it
Except for the things I think I would do differently
They keep coming between they are what I am
They have taught me little I did not know when I was young
.
There is nothing wrong with my age now probably
It is how I have come to it
Like a thing I kept putting off as I did my youth
.
There is nothing the matter with speech
Just because it lent itself
To my uses
.
Of course there is nothing the matter with the stars
It is my emptiness among them
While they drift farther away in the invisible morning
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One Response to “Because New Years is over and I still feel old”

  1. Andrew Says:

    I admire Merwin. I think my favorite collection of his is Green with Beasts. It’s incredible.

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