Wednesday Poem

The First Words

[from the Romanian of Marin Sorescu]

The first words got polluted
Like river water in the morning
Flowing with the dirt
Of blurbs and the front pages.
My only drink is meaning from the deep brain,
What the birds and the grass and the stones drink.
Let everything flow
Up to the four elements,
Up to water and earth and fire and air.

by Seamus Heaney
from The Spirit Level
Farrar Straus Giroux, NY, 1996