Christian Wiman, the author of numerous works of poetry and prose, teaches at Yale Divinity School. “I never thought I’d live to the age of 50,” he writes, “so my inclination these days is to praise. The poem below is part of a group of poems I wrote in one bright burst last summer.” The collection will appear as a book, Survival Is a Style, to be published in February. The first line is from the Siksa Samuccaya: A Compendium of Buddhist Doctrine, translated by Cecil Bendall and W. H. D. Rouse.
“Renouncing kingship like a snot of phlegm”
I go out into the park. I have my death with me,
iron friend, and a few feather regrets
that one by one lift from me in the wind.
I have two daughters and one cloud, an old oak
and a great love, elected solitude, given sun.
There never was a now this golden one.
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