music clip of the day


Tag: Stanley Kunitz

Sunday, June 14th


The Meditation Singers, “Don’t You Want to Go” (E. Rundless), live, 1960s




random sights

yesterday, Chicago


reading table

I dance, for the joy of surviving,
on the edge of the road.

—Stanley Kunitz (1905-2006), from “An Old Cracked Tune”

Wednesday, July 30th

sounds of Zimbabwe

Bhundu Boys, “Hupenyu Hwangu,” live, 1980s



reading table

Yesterday’s email brought this from a reader.

The Layers
by Stanley Kunitz (1905-2006)

I have walked through many lives,
some of them my own,
and I am not who I was,
though some principle of being
abides, from which I struggle
not to stray.
When I look behind,
as I am compelled to look
before I can gather strength
to proceed on my journey,
I see the milestones dwindling
toward the horizon
and the slow fires trailing
from the abandoned camp-sites,
over which scavenger angels
wheel on heavy wings.
Oh, I have made myself a tribe
out of my true affections,
and my tribe is scattered!
How shall the heart be reconciled
to its feast of losses?
In a rising wind
the manic dust of my friends,
those who fell along the way,
bitterly stings my face.
Yet I turn, I turn,
exulting somewhat,
with my will intact to go
wherever I need to go,
and every stone on the road
precious to me.
In my darkest night,
when the moon was covered
and I roamed through wreckage,
a nimbus-clouded voice
directed me:
“Live in the layers,
not on the litter.”
Though I lack the art
to decipher it,
no doubt the next chapter
in my book of transformations
is already written.
I am not done with my changes.

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