Weekly Poem: ‘From the Start’

By W.S. Merwin

Who did I think was listening
when I wrote down the words
in pencil at the beginning
words for singing
to music I did not know
and people I did not know
would read them and stand to sing them
already knowing them
while they sing they have no names


W.S. MerwinW.S. Merwin is the Library of Congress’ 17th Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry. He has had a prolific writing career, crafting more than 50 books of verse, translations, memoirs and more. Jeffrey Brown plans to catch up with Merwin in the coming days for a segment. You can watch our 2008 profile of Merwin here.