Richard Wilbur: “The Sirens”

Cleaving the Earth (Stuck in Customs)

The Sirens

I never knew the road
From which the whole earth didn’t call away,
With wild birds rounding the hill crowns,
Haling out of the heart an old dismay,
Or the shore somewhere pounding its slow code,
Or low-lighted towns
Seeming to tell me, stay.

Lands I have never seen
And shall not see, loves I will not forget,
All I have missed, or slighted, or foregone
Call to me now. And weaken me. And yet
I would not walk a road without a scene.
I listen going on,
The richer for regret.

Richard Wilbur

Photo credit: Cleaving the Earth by Stuck in Customs


~ by matt on 11 December 2007.

3 Responses to “Richard Wilbur: “The Sirens””

  1. I did a google search for this poem (since I don’t have my collected Wilbur with me) and your blog was the first page that came up. Lately Wilbur in the wonderful way that he writes poetry has been leaving me quite mystified, particularly this one and “The Writer.”

    Thank you for the poetry you have posted. Do you have a favorite poet?


  2. […] 143. 2 Like this guy. 3 Yes, but nota bene: can be, not “always are.” 4 Here is a poem by Richard Wilbur on the same theme as this post. I’ve known this poem for ten […]

  3. […] Richard Wilbur: "The Sirens". […]

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Natalie E. Illum...

is a poet, performer and disability activist. Bring her stumbling to your city.

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