Why Write: A Poem by Stephen D’Evelyn

Why do we long to write?

For the overspilling joy of the natural world I heard in exotic and rustic Australian scenes of Les Murray,for the yearning and delight of the everyday I resee through Heaney, the passionate and mysterious images and the sheer pull of language, even translated, I tasted in Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill as Englished by Paul Muldoon, or for finding ways to reimagine yourself and your longings I found in Celan, or again for the magisterial sweep and tenderness of heaven andearth seen all at once by Hildegard of Bingen–for all that, poems arrive through images we imagine or compose from things seen and hoped or dreamed.

It’s a sharp blue autumn morning. When I close my aching eyes I relax. The trees in manifold green and gold and orange and crispy brown swirl on the other side of the road, river, field where a few sheep graze on a misty morning as my feet in my sandals get wet somewhere near the Severn.


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