WS Merwin – The Unwritten

5D661528-EAC4-4709-BC90-327CD4526FB8William Stanley Merwin (September 30, 1927 – March 15, 2019)

Inside this pencil
crouch words that have never been written
never been spoken
never been taught
they’re hiding
they’re awake in there
dark in the dark
hearing us
but they won’t come out
not for love for time not for fire
even when the dark has worn away
they’ll still be there
hiding in the air
multitudes in days to come may walk through them
breathe them
be none the wiser
what script can it be
that they won’t unroll
in what language
would I recognize it
would I be able to follow it
to make out the real names
of everything
maybe there aren’t
many
it could be that there’s only one word
and it’s all we need
it’s here in this pencil
every pencil in the world
is like this