“Could It All Be Said…” by Gregory Orr

Gregory Orr


Could it all be said in a single poem
And not be completely cryptic?
There’s Issa’s haiku about
His daughter’s death:

“This world of dew
is only a world of dew.
And yet, ah, and yet …”

How the two lines seem to accept
That life is ephemeral
And then that last:
A cry of quiet anguish.

Accept, but protest. Yield,
Then resist.
The heart
Would have it both ways.
To see the world and say it true
Means starting with loss.
But that’s not what the heart wants,
That’s not where the saying stops.

For Sam Hamill

from Rattle #24, Winter 2004


Gregory Orr: “I apologize if these words seem really simple or simplistic, but to me when you read a poem that really, really moves you, you get both hope and courage from it. You really do. I know these words are hard to work with, because they sound naive. But they’re not naive, they’re fundamental. I think when I read a poem that deeply moves me, that feels beautiful and moving, I feel as though I’ve been given more courage to live.” (webpage)

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