pain, panic, famine, and oblivion


pain, panic, famine, and oblivion

Hi Reader. I’m back.

This world is a heartbreaker.

Our friends from Greek myth, pain, panic, famine, and oblivion, seem to be working overtime these days. Not to mention racism and disease. Ethnic violence and political quagmire.

I’m sure I don’t need to list all the events that are breaking our hearts lately. You’ve all seen/heard/read the news.

There’s a word in German for how the world can break your heart: Weltschmerz. Literally, “world pain.”

Last night, in a text exchange, a friend and I were listing poets we turn to in times of Weltschmerz. Mentioned were Neruda and Mary Oliver, Wendell Berry and W.S. Merwin.

I zeroed in on a Merwin poem. Partly because I know that in heartbreaking times, gratitude helps me to keep going. Partly because the only gratitude in this particular poem is a bleak gratitude. 

Here it is for you, in case you need it.

9 thoughts on “pain, panic, famine, and oblivion

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