True Ways of Knowing By Norman Maccaig
Not an ounce excessive, not an inch too little,
Our easy reciprocations. You let me know
The way a boat would feel, if it could feel,
The intimate support of water.
The news you bring me has been news forever,
So that I understand what a stone would say
If only a stone could speak. Is it sad a grassblade
Can’t know how it is lovely?
It is said that you can’t know, except by hearsay
(My gossiping failing words) that you are the way
A water is that can clench its palm and crumple
A boat’s confiding timbers?
But that’s excessive, and too little. Knowing
The way a circle would describe its roundness,
We touch two selves and feel, complete and gentle,
The intimate support of being.
The way that flight would feel a bird flying
(If it could feel) is the way a space that’s in
A stone that’s in a water would know itself
If it had our way of knowing.
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