Poetry before bed

by thelifesavour

Last night, for the first time in as long as I can remember, I read poems before bed from the anthology ‘A Book of Luminous Things’.

One of them, by William Carlos Williams, stays with me:

TO A POOR OLD WOMAN

munching a plum on

the street a paper bag

of them in her hand

 

They taste good to her

They taste good

to her. They taste

good to her

 

You can see it by

the way she gives herself

to the one half

sucked out in her hand

 

Comforted

a solace of ripe plums

seeming to fill the air

They taste good to her

 

The editor of the anthology, Czeslaw Milosz, suggests that Williams’ poetry is ‘based, presumably, on the rhythm of breathing’ .

I read the poem again and again the way the woman eats the plums and it sounds good to me. It eases my own breathing. And I sleep well, and so does the baby, and so do the mosquitoes. 

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