"And I Said To My Soul, Be Loud"

Every Riven Thing
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The Poet Reads
Christian Wiman explains the origin of this poem's title and offers this marvelous reading for your ears. Download the MP3 and share it with your friends!


Madden me back to an afternoon
I carry in me
not like a wound
but like a will against a wound

Give me again enough man
to be the child
choosing my own annihilations

To make of this severed limb
a wand to conjure
a weapon to shatter
dark matter of the dirt daubers' nests
galaxies of glass

Whacking glints
bash-dancing on the cellar's fire
I am the sound the sun would make
if the sun could make a sound

and the gasp of rot
stabbed from the compost's lumpen living death
is me

O my life my war in a jar
I shake you and shake you
and may the best ant win

For I am come a whirlwind of wasted things
and I will ride this tantrum back to God

until my fixed self, my fluorescent self
my grief–nibbling, unbewildered, wall–to–wall self
withers in me like a salted slug

.......................................

From the book "Every Riven Thing" by Christian Wiman. Copyright © 2010 by Christian Wiman. Used by permission of Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC.

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