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


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

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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